We saw this coming. They will never quit. We must never quit.
Millions of people rallied against SOPA/PIPA, and even with all of the resistance from the world’s online innovators and consumers, the House Of Representatives is still talking about legislation to infringe our freedoms of the web, and is still quietly trying to pass a related bill that would give the entertainment industry even more power in government. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) had countless examples of industry-created propaganda circulated to get support for their laws, which would have given them the ability to effect the entire infrastructure of the internet in their favor. It was a universally reviled anti-digital piracy bill that was protested against by millions of web users, due to it’s vague terms and the seemingly unlimited power it gave the entertainment industry in the future.
Now, SOPA is returning piece-by-piece, according to TechDirt. Conservative media will need to step up to the plate on this one, because the latest attempt at infringing our rights by Republican Lamar Smith (pictured above – the same guy behind SOPA), brings a “czar” with it. It’s called The Intellectual Property Attaché Act, and it’s just as dangerous as before.
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The IP Attaché Act is a bill that increases intellectual property policing around the world. The Act would create an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, as well as broaden the use of IP attachés in particular U.S. embassies. (The attachés were notably present in Sec. 205 of SOPA—which was also introduced by Smith.)
The Electronic Frontier Foundation says that the group of people in Washington that are discussing such legislation represent only one-side of the story, and with only one side having much representation in government, this is “the last thing we need.”
The presence of people with such a narrow cause as “intellectual property enforcement” fosters a single perspective in the federal government. In an environment where the deep-pocketed copyright lobby is pushing through favorable legislation on both a domestic and international level, this is the last thing we need…. Big Content and sympathetic congressmen may think we’ve stopped watching their actions in Washington, but let’s prove them wrong by remaining vigilant about these bad bills.
The new bill has a provision requiring the president to “appoint an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, who shall report directly to the Director.” A more simplified way of putting that for you, is that they want the president to appoint an intellectual property czar.
The Bill from Republican Representative Smith would require President Obama to appoint yet another shadowy figure into office to suck our tax dollars down the drain in an attempt to take control of global policies regarding web-based content infringement. This is particularly directed toward “Big Content,” and based on previous bipartisan opposition of SOPA, you’d think the reaction to the idea of using czars should be one that makes their hair stand on end. As the EFF points out, the legislation commissions people in the executive branch of government who will be exclusively dedicated to “intellectual property enforcement,” a policy that many tax-payers will surely see as a complete waste of resources during a time when the United States representatives could easily be putting their time towards more important issues, such as job creation.
The IP attachés are charged with “reducing intellectual property infringement” and “advancing intellectual property rights” around the world, but not to critically engage IP complexities and limitations. From our perspective, this bill is nothing more than the government giving Hollywood traveling foot soldiers.
Republican representatives have yet to do anything in regards to jobs. The freedom-threatening legislation will have our attention until it is no longer an issue. Stay tuned for more updates regarding the IP Attaché Act by joining us on Facebook, Following us on Twitter, or adding me to your Google Plus Circles.
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