December 15, 2011
SOPA Goes to Mark-Up Today in the House Judiciary Committee
On OpenCongress Blog, Donny Shaw reports
ahead of [today's scheduled] meeting the [House Judiciary Committee] chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX], has pulled a neat little trick. Smith has come out with a manager’s amendment that eliminates the most insanely unconstitutional elements of the bill, leaving behind an expansive censorship system for the government and the entertainment industry that is meant to seem reasonable by contrast.
It’s a common trick among experienced legislators. Load your bill up with every crazy provision and hand-out its supporters could possibly dream of, and then take some of the extreme stuff out at some point in the legislative process to make it look like you’re being an honest broker. In this case, Smith is scaling back SOPA so that it looks more like the already-draconian Senate bill it was built off of, the PROTECT-IP Act. It changes a bill with a 1% favorability rating among OpenCongress users into a bill with a 2% favorability rating. Progress!
For much more, see Shaw's SOPA Goes Through Staged Compromise, Still Censorship. Monitor SOPA, HR 3156 on OpenCongress.
SOPA Critique Redux. The Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society hosted a panel discussion called "What’s Wrong with SOPA?" on Dec. 7th. You can now watch the video here. It's not as entertaining as the Colbert Report's video clips but it is informative. Of course, the panel discussion members did not have the manager's amendment for HR 3156 in hand at the time. [JH]