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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hollywood Puppets Keep Fighting for SOPA

US Republican senator Lamar Smith is trying to get the worst part of the rejected SOPA bill back on the statute books.

The senator is so concerned that the entertainment industry was spending too much cash running around threatening foreign countries to bring in tough new copyright legislation that he wanted the American taxpayers fund their work. He seems to believe that Hollywood is broke, while the American government had pots of cash it has no idea what to do with. Lamar Smith’s plan was to pay for civil servants to rush around the globe with MPAA and RIAA leaflets and threaten the governments which fail to comply with “repercussions”.

While the Motion Picture Association of America and its music fellow, RIAA, might be ignored by the tiny governments, the fact that it would be employees of the American government (very famous for invading other countries with high tech weapons and nukes if they don’t like something) hired as the servants is more likely to get attention.

According to media reports, the diplomatic corp is going to call them “IP attaches”, and the servants would have diplomatic status. The weird thing is that Smith is a Republican, who is too worried about smaller government and taxation, both of which are affected by the daft idea in question. Anyway, a sane politician would think that if the entertainment industry wanted to lobby countries, it should pay for that and do that itself.

Fortunately for normal people, the idea in question was rejected by many politicians, and even Smith’s fellow Republicans, who saw the writing on the wall for SOPA. Nevertheless, this hasn’t stopped the senator from getting all wiggy with it and trying to bring the idea back, and even bigger and “better” than before.

Lamar Smith has suggested legislation called the Intellectual Property Attache Act. The proposed bill is currently being fast tracked with the hope that nobody will notice it. Apparently, no-one is expected to inconvenience Smith with any anti-SOPA protest.

The suggested legislation offers to create those tax payer funded “diplomats” and attach them to the American Patent and Trademark Office, while setting them up as their own agency. Nothing seems to be able to go wrong with that.

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