Chambliss On PIPA

I’ve reached out to Georgia’s Senators this afternoon to see why they are co-sponsoring PIPA, the Protect Intellectual Property Act.  Senator Chambliss’ office sent over the following:

“I believe that online theft is a serious issue, and that Congress does need to make certain that the law adequately protects the interests of rights holders.  Not only do we need to be concerned about intellectual property, such as movies and books, but also items such as counterfeit toothpaste or mouthwash from China that pose serious safety issues to all Americans. Because of this, I am a co-sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act.  I have listened to the concerns of many Georgians and I agree that these concerns must be addressed. Congress should avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences. However, as a co-sponsor I am in a better position legislatively to voice my concerns, and craft legislation that addresses Internet piracy while still protecting free and open access to the Internet.”

I think the majority of the readers here, myself (and apparently Senator Chambliss) included, agree that the bill in its current form needs to be opposed.  Those of us who create content or any other form of intellectual property also understand the need to find a balance that protects against counterfeiting and other forms of theft.

I won’t even come close to claiming expertise on this legislation.  If any of our readers are familiar enough with the language to suggest specific changes that strike a much better balance of protecting IP without turning control of individual websites over to the government, I’m sure we can entertain that discussion.

If not, I guess we can entertain the usual comments of “RINO!” anytime an issue of complexity is addressed.



  1. CobbGOPer says:

    This is not an issue for the government. It’s an issue for the MPAA/RIAA/etc. that operate under antiquated business models that do not adapt to the new technology hitting the market every day. Instead of the taxpayers handling this problem for them through censorship and threats of legal or punitive action, why don’t we tell them to suck it and find a way to offer their content in a medium and for a price that consumers will accept?

    Honestly, it’s a little like horse farmers and buggy manufacturers getting Congress to outlaw the car. If you can’t adapt to the market, then maybe you shouldn’t be in business. Getting the government to manipulate the market so you don’t have to adapt is just a losing proposition for everyone in the long run.

    • heroV says:

      Agree. Also, it’s wrong of the Senator to term copyright infringement as “theft.” Copyright infringement is not theft. It is, well, copyright infringement. There are laws against it, but that doesn’t mean it is “theft.” If it were theft, you would not need special laws concerning infringement because the laws that make theft illegal would be fine. Couching this in terms of the word “theft” is just demonizing and empty rhetoric.

      • NoTeabagging says:

        Copyright infringement can take many forms. ‘Theft’ is a synomym, and may be properly applied to describe certain cases of copyright infringement.

    • NoTeabagging says:

      You make an important point that is addressed in the music industry, post napster. Buying music online, legally, for .33 cents to .99 cents a song should encourage music lover to pay up for music they enjoy rather that waiting on their friends to ‘burn a cd’ from the friends collection. Technology has made it easier to make high quality copies of books, magazines, music and movies. Computer manufacturers now embed software that instantly ask the user if they want to copy music/movies from cd/dvds as soon as the disc is inserted into the machine. And we wonder why people, young and old, now believe ALL content should be free and nobody should get paid for their creative efforts?

  2. ted in bed says:

    Chambliss and Issakson are the worst kind of Republican. They are the go-along-get-along type. When they campaign, they call themselves Conservatives. But when they are home within the beltway, they act like Harry Reid’s pets. Hopefully, the Tea Party will target them. Both are vulnerable against the right candidate.

  3. seenbetrdayz says:

    What ever happened to suing the #%*t out of people who steal and profit off of your ideas?

    Here’s yet another law to fix a problem that already has a solution. Not a perfect solution!, BUT, better than this.

    I won’t be surprised if this is eventually used to control political speech. If nothing else, it’s testing the waters.

    The internet is full of a lot of crap, some true, mostly false, but it’s a place where someone can post things and it has the potential to be viewed/read/heard by millions and millions of people (not here, perhaps, but post a really, really good video on youtube and it ends up getting ten million views the first week).

    I hate to think things like that could come to America, BUT, if you pay attention to the dictators around the world, if their power is threatened (such as in Egypt), communications are the first things to get shut down.

    Like I said, if someone steals your %(#*, sue ’em.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        I imagine it’s about as hard as trying to get someone extradited for a crime in the U.S. that isn’t a crime in another country which doesn’t recognize some form of reciprocity on the matter. I don’t really see how our government passing more laws would have any influence over what other countries decide to do, in ANY case.

        No silver bullet for that one JK, I’m afraid. It’s a good question, with no easy answers.

        I’m pro-IP, btw. I just don’t feel that this is the right direction to be moving in. The risk of abuse from our government deciding to use this power in an unintended way has the potential to be far more dangerous than some kid downloading music on his computer and making copies for his friends.

          • seenbetrdayz says:

            Yeah, but, then you enter that shady area of control in which crimes could be punished before they’re even committed. I know that sounds like some sci-fi talk, but our government has become anything but rational when it comes to passing laws.

            Just looking at the history in similar circumstances:

            What I believe is more likely to happen is that we’ll end up with all sorts of new government powers that have negligible impact whatsoever on preventing internet theft, it’ll just be a bunch of new powers for them to play with.

            Sort of like, gun control laws having very little impact on crime, and a huge impact on the 2nd Amendment.

            Is this another feel good law with unforseen consequences? That’s what really worries me. I’d much rather see us find ways to work with the existing laws to address the issue. I’ve heard people on here say, ‘enforce the laws we have now before you even think about making new laws.’ I’m inclined to think that this issue isn’t much different.

  4. Charlie says:

    Some things I’m now being told about the Senate version of the bill:

    1) The Senate version of the bill only deals with foreign based websites
    2) A court order is required before any website can be shut down
    3) The bill is intended to regulate IP abuses which are sanctioned and subsidized by foreign governments as part of their emerging economies. Domestic based websites are not included in the Senate version of the bill co-sponsored by Chambliss and Isakson. This appears to be a main difference between the Senate version and the House version of the bills.

    • Lawton Sack says:

      1/2. It deals with U.S. based websites and it states that a Court can issue a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or an injunction upon application by a qualifying plantiff:

      (1) IN GENERAL.—On application of a qualifying plaintiff following the commencement of an action under this section, the court may issue a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, or an injunction, in accordance with rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, against the domain name used by an Internet site dedicated to infringing activities, or against a registrant of such domain name, or the owner or operator of such Internet site
      dedicated to infringing activities, to cease and desist from undertaking any further activity as an Internet site dedicated to infringing activities, if

      (A) the domain name is registered or as signed by a domain name registrar or domain name registry that located or doing business in the United States; or

      (i) the domain name is used within the United States to access such Internet site; and
      (ii) the Internet site
      (I) conducts business directed to residents of the United States; and
      (II) harms holders of United States intellectual property rights.

  5. Harry says:

    One solution would be to repeal copyright laws. The entire concept of protecting creative output and intellectual property is ridiculous. Intangible assets do not deserve the same rights as tangible assets. Media and entertainment organizations are plagiarizing and selling content every day and it’s perfectly okay. Why should they have the right to demand and buy protection from politicians?

    • John Konop says:


      I am confused are you saying a writer, musician, software developer……..should have no legal rights if someone steals their work and sells it?

      • Harry says:

        I’m saying we’re all constantly creating and producing work. If the output of creative people is valued valued enough by society, then publishers will seek them out and market their work and consumers who appreciate their work will support it. Sure, the shelf life of any economic benefit may be short, but so much human endeavor is of short life. Why should the creative Mickey Mouse of a deceased Walt Disney receive any economic benefit, more than 75 years on? The legality of patents and copyrights is out of control.

        • NoTeabagging says:

          Harry. I think you are bit confused. Patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc. are a ‘registry’ that give the owner proof of ownership. Yes, anyone can write a book, music, make a movie, create visual art, or a useful invention and put it out there for the world to see, use and share for free. On the other hand, if you as creator, intended to earn a living from your hard work, then the registry gives you legal right to sell or license the work to be sold for a profit which you keep. If anyone decides to sell the same, unique work, the registered owner has the right to demand such copies be removed from the market and loss of income be compensated. Even in your ‘market driven’ scenario a creator should receive compensation as long as the public is buying, right? I find it odd that you require a middleman to manufacture copies of the work for an individual creator.

          I suppose you think Mr. Pemberton’s fizzy water, which has earned enough money for Coca-Cola Corp., should now be in the public domain for anyone to make, distribute and sell said fizzy water under any name, including ‘Coca-Cola’ which has had plenty of years to make it’s maximum profit and therefore the ‘brand’ should be in the public domain. Just like ‘Mickey Mouse’, eh?

          Oh, BTW, Ub Iwerks invented and drew the little critter that became Mickey Mouse while working for Walt Disney.

          • Harry says:

            What we have with overly protective copyrights etc. is a closed system that stifles creativity and progress. I’m glad Coca Cola is an Atlanta product, but it doesn’t need over-protection. Anything truly exceptional will succeed with good concept, production, marketing, and logistics – and without needing government protection.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      You have to look at the intent, and figure out where the abuse came into play. The intent was to give the poor inventor a means of getting his foot into the market with his idea before some big manufacturer with the resources to start production immediately could swoop in, steal the invention, and go hog wild making a profit, while the poor inventor was still, well, poor.

      What gives intellectual property a bad name is really the time-frame, IMO. It seems rather senseless to have someone given rights to an idea for 30 years, with constant extensions, turning into life-long patents or seemingly permanent patents. At some point, you go from protecting an idea and ensuring a chance of profit for the inventor’s hard work, to a guaranteed monopoly.

      Design patents, for example, usually last 14 years. That may have made sense back in the days of wagons and horses, but nowadays, you can email a patented idea to several interested investors and get responses in a matter of hours. Within a few months, if the idea catches on, you’ll be sleeping on matresses stuffed with cash. So, even though I’m pro-IP, I think the time-frame should be adjusted to keep up with investment technology.

      Modify: And you hit on what I was getting at while I was typing this message. Walt Disney is a prime example of a patent-turned-monopoly.

  6. Max Power says:

    I challenge anyone to read the entire bill and tell me it’s a good law. For example the attorney general or copyright holder can get an injunction to shut down a site if it “harms holders of United States intellectual property rights.” Now that’s a broad term. It provides that internet providers purge their DNS systems of offending websites. Search engines remove it from their listings. Oh and then there’s the immunity issue. Go read the bill it’s not that long and it’s terrible.

  7. ted in bed says:

    This is very similar to the online gambling bill that the Republicans pushed and passed in 2006. It was an over-reach by nanny-state Republicans, who paid for it in the elections.

    The lesson from 2006 should have been “do not f’ with the internet”. Why would Republicans repeat this? Because, Hollywood’s money makes for a comfortable retirement.

  8. Engineer says:

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is bad enough (and abused by companies enough) as it is, we don’t need PIPA or SOPA giving these corrupt companies more power to pull fair-use clips of their products off the internet..

  9. Lawton Sack says:

    The ultimate result is that they are going to push things further underground, making it harder to find the sources of copyright infringement. Anyone can host their own web server/site using Apache, which comes in easy to use forms such as XAMPP and WAMP. Further, PIPA deals mainly with domain names, which, while they make things easier to remember, are completely unnecessary. If you want to go to, you can just type in If PIPA passes you will most likely see websites like de-register their domain name, yet still provide the same service. They have already changed to MAGNET links over torrents, meaning that they no longer have to store files on their servers.

    • CobbGOPer says:

      This goes back to my technology argument: they can go ahead and pass the law if they want to. Resourceful people will find a way around it before the ink is dry.

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