Print 18 comment(s) - last by priusone.. on Jan 11 at 9:50 PM

Gary Shapiro pulls no punches in alleging federal bribery, anti-business politics

At a Tuesday morning Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) keynote of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show Gary Shapiro, President of the Consumer Electronics Association, did not waste much time in getting down to business, talking about serious issues.

Alluding to the upcoming Orwellian "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261), a visibly furious Mr. Shapiro commented, "[SOPA is championed by] politicians who are proudly unfamiliar with how the internet works, but who are well familiar with favors from well-heeled copyright extremists."

The sharp criticism drew a thunderous applause from the pro-technology audience.

Indeed Mr. Shapiro is on the money in this case.  According to extensive research, anti-streaming lobbyists have engaged in a sweeping bribery scheme that paid for approximately 10 percent of all active Senators' total combined election costs.

SOPA's current form, being debated by Congress would be a federal death sentence for internet business and the American economy,  Under the proposed law any site on the internet found to contain links to infringing content could be taken down for up to weeks at a time.  This means, in essence that any online news site, any e-commerce site, any site that takes user content of any kind could easily be permanently destroyed by malicious posts -- posts that the site itself did not author or endorse.

Meanwhile the offices of members of Congress have been found to be actively pirating the content that they hope to imprison the lowly proles for.

Mr. Shapiro, a veteran of two decades in the tech industry, recently published the book The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream.  He remains very active in the politics side of technology.  He serves on the Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Congress.

Gary Shapiro 

Mr. Shapiro voiced support for the OPEN Act, an alternative proposal by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.  The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act ("The OPEN Act") removes much of SOPA's most sweeping federal power grab efforts, such as the link-related takedowns.  While the OPEN Act has its flaws and detractors, clearly the internet industry likes it a lot better than SOPA.  The propsal is supported by Google Inc. (GOOG), Facebook, and Twitter.

A draft of the open act is available here [PDF].

Mr. Shapiro concluded, "In the movie Wall Street, Gordon Gecko said 'Greed is good.'  Well, I believe change is good."

All images © of Jason Mick and DailyTech LLC.

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Final Act
By EricMartello on 1/10/2012 5:40:42 PM , Rating: 3
I do think that our laws need to be updated and brought in line with the tech culture we have today...but in no way is SOPA or any other corrupt law the way to go about it.

What a good IP law will do is clearly define the situations where a rights holder can take legal action, and to what extent the damages can be.

It should require substantiation of any claims made with regards to monetary losses, which would auto-invalidate these ridiculous financial loss claims made against file sharers.

Most importantly, it should contain expanded and improved fair use policies that restrict rightsholders to seek damages only in situations where the defendant has actually been profiting from copyrighted material either directly (by selling it as their own) or indirectly (running a website that generates ad revenue by making copyrighted material freely available).

I also think that, in general, we need to restrict politicians abilities to pass new laws without getting a consensus from the voting populace. I'm pretty sure that the majority of voters would NOT support anything like the SOPA, ACTA, NDAA or other corrupt law; people shouldn't have to protest an injustice - they should be able to vote it out of existence.

RE: Final Act
By Natch on 1/11/2012 8:46:56 AM , Rating: 2
What needs to happen is the music and movie industries need to finally let go of their old business plan (ancient, actually, in this technological age), and embrace the new, digital technologies that could make them just as much money.

Imagine if the movie industry had started offering movie rentals via streaming technology, before Netflix did? Of course, they likely would have still screwed it up, by charging too much, or making it somehow too restrictive for people to enjoy.....but imagine they didn't. THEY would now be the leaders in streaming movies, instead of Netflix, and would be enjoying ALL the profit, instead of just some of it.

But that didn't fit into their stodgy old ideas of how to run a movie making business profitably, so they didn't bother.....and now Netflix makes money, hand over fist, instead. And the movie studios STILL don't get it! Same with the music recording industry, and MP3 downloads. Shoot, they could offer music downloads for 75-cents each, and undercut Apple and Amazon quite handily....but they're old men, with old ideas, and they fear what they don't know.

Meanwhile the offices of members of Congress have been found to be actively pirating the content that they hope to imprison the lowly proles for.

Man, doesn't that just sound like good old fashioned Soviet "equality"??
"We are equal, Comrade! It's just that I am a little more equal than you are!!"

RE: Final Act
By JediJeb on 1/11/2012 3:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
Talking about the messed up way the movie industry works, have you ever really watched the opening credits in newer movie?

A John Doe movie, by Jane Smith productions, in association with Tim and Associates, produced by Jack the Ripper, with assistance from Sally Sells Sea Shells studios, associate produced by Some No Name Company, with help by........

Old 60's western would say, An MGM production directed by John Ford.

When you have to pay fifteen layers of middlemen no wonder they want to squeeze every last cent out of a movie they can.

RE: Final Act
By EricMartello on 1/11/2012 8:24:40 PM , Rating: 1
Oh yeah, they could have went down those roads but to them it is a risk and they're reluctant to deviate from the methods that have been making them billions of dollars each year. I don't think they're going to change until they no longer have an option to bribe politicians or abuse the legal system.

The problem isn't only that these big conglomerates are headed by scared old men who don't want to give up their old ways; they are most likely financially tied to people and organizations not in the entertainment industry who have strong influence over the direction of these entities. I don't think that all individuals involved with these media companies are evil and self-serving, but I do think that the majority of them in managerial positions quickly get swept up in these companies' exploitative "corporate culture", and are not really able to do much to change the status quo.

On a side note, it would be interesting if someone did an in depth "follow the money" type of investigation to see just how badly these greed-driven corporate interests have infected the US political and judicial systems.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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