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Saturday, January 14, 2012

SAG and Holllywood Lose Major Battle to White House and Google

White House airs objections to SOPA, PIPA anti-piracy bills

FastFiveScore one for Google. The White House raised concerns Saturday about aspects of pending anti-piracy legislation that has been strongly backed by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Hollywood's chief lobbying arm.

In an unusually blunt statement, Obama administration officials signaled that the White House would not support parts of two bills wending their way through Congress -- the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) that critics say would limit freedom of speech on the Internet and unfairly punish legitimate websites.

"While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,'' said a statement from Victoria Espinel, intellectual property enforcement coordinator; Aneesh Chopra, U.S. chief technology officer; and Howard Schmidt, cybersecurity coordinator for the national security staff.

The statement is a setback for the major Hollywood studios and unions that have been mounting a lobbying campaign in support of the bills, which would give the Justice Department more tools to shut down foreign websites involved in the piracy of movies and TV shows.  Google, Facebook and other tech companies, however, have been fiercely opposed to the bills, particularly provisions that would allow the Justice Department to obtain court orders requiring internet search engines and payment processors to block access to websites involved in piracy.

"We appreciate the Administration's recognition that our ability to innovate, invest, and grow the economy is dependent upon keeping the Internet free and open,'' said Markham Erickson, executive director of the, a group of technology companies fighting the anti-piracy bills.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the SOPA bill later this month, while the Senate could take up its PIPA anti-piracy bill next month. Both bills are likely to be modified, now, to reflect the administration's concerns.

Piracy, while rampant outside the US, is none the less also a domestic problem, with prosecutions increasing on individuals, companies and rings pirating intellectual property and profiting without sharing funds with the artist, investors or those who have a stake in the song, television show, movie, commercial or art work.

The MPAA disputed the notion that the bills impede freedom of speech or innovation and renewed its support for tougher anti-piracy laws. "Every day, American jobs are threatened by thieves from foreign-based rogue websites,'' the MPAA said in a statement. "This deplorable situation persists because U.S. law enforcement does not have the tools to fight back."

'Fast Five' tops this year's list of most pirated movies
Piracy legislation pits Hollywood against Silicon Valley
MPAA's Dodd says Hollywood is pro-Internet but anti-piracy

-- Richard Verrier

Photo: Elsa Pataky, left, and Vin Diesel in "Fast Five," the most pirated movie in 2011. Credit: Universal Pictures

Time to Become Old School Democrats and WIN

From: Open (click here)

The Occupy Movement has started across our nation. It has captured our imaginations of what can be done to take back our country from forces that have worked against the great American tradition of a middle class able to provide for their families with dignity and pride.  We need to go back to how our grandparents got sh*t done in progressive politics.
Our progressive Presidents didn't have to wait to see how the money weighed in on issues, because there would be hell to pay with the local parties for not acting on their will.
Do not let this passion fizzle into disjointed disenfranchised citizens sitting home alone. When you sit at home in your pajamas; they win. When you are too depressed to move; they win. Don’t let them win.
The only way to win the war is to re-elect our President, and elect representatives from the bottom up who will support a progressive agenda. No election is too small to ensure that the candidate representing YOU supports families over special interests.
We have had plenty of fractioned groups over the years and none have produced a President of the United States. Our grandparents knew best and drove the agenda of the only major recognized progressive party. Old school Democrats got sh*t done.
Those we work against already have a political party bought and paid for by dollars that ask their members to shut up and look pretty. They have no ground game because on the battlefield of our neighborhoods the rank and file Republican has no answers for the stripping away of the American dream. You cannot blame your neighbor for the problems ailing your community while standing on their front porch.
If you are unemployed make it your “job” to work on taking back the middle class. Make it pay more to have people like us in the workforce than to be highly qualified unpaid staff working for our causes the corporations may not exactly favor.
We still have a party in our country that is by the people, for the people, and of the people: Democrats. The way to get progressive candidates who can spend their time connecting with voters over donors is to have a strong base of precinct captains throughout every community. The influx of corporate money into politics is directly proportionate to the receding engagement of voters in the political process. Candidates do not need to spend nearly as much, nor can special interests convince them of such, when they have an active base of committed volunteers.  
Today, most precincts in our country don’t have a precinct captain it has been a few years since the last Presidential election. Contact the central committee of the county you live in and ask to be appointed captain of your local precinct.  Join the central committee of your local Democratic party at the county level.
If you are unemployed with no immediate hope of a job in the future make Precinct Captain your interim occupation. Print up some business cards and start passing them out. Make this new career important. Go down to your kids’ school and introduce yourself as the captain.
The amount of money it takes to elect a candidate from dog catcher to President of the United States is directly proportionate to how much it costs to directly contact voters. No method is more efficient than the neighborhood precinct captain. Depending on where you live you can download a list today from the registrar of voters website listing every household in your precinct and what their voter registration status is currently. Give your unregistered neighbors voter cards to sign up. Be the caretaker of your community when candidates need support walking door to door to get the word out.
Should you encounter that Democrat who works against your interests, is more about the corporate money game than the families YOU represent as a captain REFUSE to work for them. Let your neighbors ask you why you support everyone else but that candidate.
Our nation never would have had a President Kennedy without precinct captains. Today it is time to go old school to get back to the progressive values that built our middle class. Our grandparents attended central committee meetings, learned Roberts Rules of Order, and raised their voices many more times a year than just the ballot box.
Get mad, get activated, and grab your friends it is time to go back to being old school hand to hand combat Democrats.  Kennedy

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