The state has been having a difficult time passing their pet bill to punish those who violate the copyrights of their cronies. Americans won’t raise too much fuss until you go after their Internet but once that line is crossed they actually start getting incredibly angry. Needless to say passing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) didn’t happen, attempting to rename the bill to pass it has failed to get through the Senate (but has already passed the House), and the politically well-connected copyright holders are losing patients. What’s the state to do? Easy, pass the legislation in small pieces:
While it didn’t get nearly as much attention as other parts of SOPA, one section in the bill that greatly concerned us was the massive expansion of the diplomatic corp.’s “IP attaches.” If you’re unfamiliar with the program, basically IP attaches are “diplomats” (and I use the term loosely) who go around the globe pushing a copyright maximalist position on pretty much every other country. Their role is not to support more effective or more reasonable IP policy. It is solely to increase expansion, and basically act as Hollywood’s personal thugs pressuring other countries to do the will of the major studios and labels. The role is literally defined as pushing for “aggressive support for enforcement action” throughout the world. A few years ago, we detailed how, at a meeting of these attaches, they bitched and complained about how copyright “activists” were making their lives difficult and were a “threat” who needed to be dealt with.
In other words, these people are not neutral. They do not have the best interests of the public or the country in mind. Their job is solely to push the copyright maximalist views of the legacy entertainment industry around the globe, and position it as the will of the US government.
It was good that this was defeated as a part of SOPA… but now comes the news that Lamar Smith is introducing a new bill that not only brings back this part, but appears to expand it and make it an even bigger deal.
As I said previously, “The rule of thumb with politics is this: if there is money backing a bill it will be passed.” Whether by hook or by crook the cronies will get what they want and the people will suffer under new tyrannies. Unfortunately there are 435 voting members of Congress and 50 senators whose job is to write, propose, and attempt to pass legislation. Because of the sheer number of these crooks it’s almost impossible to keep an eye on what every one of them is doing at all times.