January 19, 2012

Urban Dictionary defines "SOPA."

"The shittiest piece of legislation the U.S. government ever came up with."
uhm, whats that internet thing again? is that what all the kiddies are stealing music with? we better fix that...
Or maybe they were thinking: People don't hate Congress enough. What can we do about that?


Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

The shittiest piece of legislation the U.S. government ever came up with.

It is pretty bad but I think they underestimate the past and present ability of the U.S. government to think up bad laws.

traditionalguy said...

If the Tea party joins up with the Millennial Generation, then we could see an earth quake in congress.

DADvocate said...

Simply another example of how most politicians, bureaucrats and lots of other people actually hate freedom.

Simon said...

They're making light of an issue that Matt Asay wrote about this morning: The informational gap between Congress and the experts and the dysfunction of the processes that should bridge it.

For several years, here and elsewhere, I've been criticizing Congress as approaching the point of dysfunction. I've piped down recently because the left has been peddling the silly talking point that Congress is dysfunctional because it's not passing the President's agenda, and I've not wanted to feed that meme, but the fact is that Congress is becoming dysfunctional, even if not for the reasons those folks think.

Among Congress' problems is the need for an institution with little technical expertise in the subjects it's charged with regulating to develop mechanisms for acquiring input from experts. This input should be sought at several levels of the legislative process to not only guide the formation of bills but Congress' development and handling of them.

Such a mechanism does exist, on paper. The reason for having committees and hearings is precisely in order to bring experts before Congress. But cameras and the political posturing they engender have broken that system.

I propose that committee meetings and hearings should at least be off camera, and preferably should be in camera, with only rare exceptions for good cause.

Rusty said...

"The shittiest piece of legislation the U.S. government ever came up with."

What is the Gun Control Act of 1968, Alex.

Bruce Hayden said...

Not sure if I would agree that it is the worst legislation ever introduced into Congress. But, it is pretty bad.

Interesting article from the HBR: The Real SOPA Battle: Innovators vs. Goliath.

The article mostly deals with the rent seeking by SOPA advocates. One of the great quotes though is:

"To be fair to the big companies supporting SOPA and PIPA, they're acting rationally. From their perspective, investing in lobbying instead of business model innovation is a sensible investment. Jack Abramoff has recently detailed how a 22,000% ROI isn't unusual for firms hiring lobbyists".

Think about it - Abramoff was saying that the best use of corporate wealth, by far, for most companies is rent seeking through lobbying Congress. Where else can you get a 22,000% return on investment? Not by building a new plant, or hiring more (non-lobbyist) employees.

traditionalguy said...

Congress gets paid off to pass bad legislation to benefit their big bribe givers, and then Congress gets paid off to enact some remedies to the clusterfuck they created for the first bribe sponsored law.

I think of it as a libertarian free market system.

Now, why was Blago ruined and sent to jail anyway. Free Blago!

Chuck66 said...

Even if the law is good, people don't like free stuff taken from them. If there are copyright issues involved, your average person really doesn't care. They want the internet content to be there.

Toad Trend said...

Stealing other peoples' access.

wv - fatrat


I'm Full of Soup said...

Very very funny definitions.

SPImmortal said...

The shittiest piece of legislation the U.S. government ever came up with.



Spread Eagle said...

The shittiest piece of legislation the U.S. government ever came up with

Nah. The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, still holds that distinction.

I've been tooling around on the Internet for 18 years. At one point in the mid-90s I owned an ISP and had 8 web servers strategically positioned around the world to host web sites, such as they were in those days. I'm not in favor of SOPA, but I could see this coming for years and years. Even back then users stored and shared pirated copies of all manner of music, movies, games, and other software. As a sys admin it was a major headache. The hackers and crackers were way out in front of and impervious to complaining parties, lawyers, and the authorities. Well, that gap has closed considerably, and is closing more yet every day. With billions of profits lost already, and with billions more to be lost in the future, what does one expect the owners of intellectual property to do to protect their assets? One thing they do is lobby Congress hard for things like SOPA.

Original Mike said...

"uhm, whats that internet thing again?"

I think it's a system of tubes.

Brian O'Connell said...

IP- which term is a great framing win for copyright and patent-holders- is the subtext here. Most SOPA/PIPA opponents have mouthed the appropriate disclaimer, "We must protect IP, but..." This will be diminishing. The history of IP in this country is the history of large corporations buying the rent-seeking legislation they want, at the expense of the public's freedom. Mickey Mouse delende est!

edutcher said...

The Internet - where a thousand years of the English language takes a great leap backward.

As I say, any legislation with Christopher Dodd even remotely associated with it is always bad.

ricpic said...

It's all about regulating that chaotic freedom thing.

JohnBoy said...

Hey Ann - OT - but would you please give your loyal readers your opinion of the EPA-overreach case that was in front of the Supremes yesterday? It was linked on hotair.com.

Ed M destroyed the EPA.

rcocean said...

IP = Government granted monopoly.

I also love how the Entertainment industry tries to mush its 80 year old copyright protection for Micky Mouse with some wonder drug patent that will expire (or be obsolete) in 5 years.

Yep, its all IP.

Tibore said...

Look, I don't like SOPA. Working in IT, you see far, far more problems with it than benefits. I'm perfectly fine with people voicing displeasure, and in fact think people should sound off.

That said, statements like this make me wonder when people will tire of hyperbole. I'm totally on board with calling it bad, and feel that a legitimate critique on merits and problems is fine. But "shittiest piece of legislation"?? I'm pretty sure historians look at the Indian Removal Act, the Fugitive Slave Act, the "Black Codes" etc. as just a few samples that render that phrase not merely wrong, but whiny and petulant sounding (heck, Jim Crow laws would only be exempt from this talk on the technicality of being state rather than federal laws, but they're still good examples of shittier laws).

Excessive hyperbole is the rhetorical crutch of the hack. Sure, Urbandictionary is not expected to be a literate site. Quite the contrary, in fact; it's hilarity lies in the completely unselfconscious use of slang to define slang. It's supposed to be "vulgar" (not "gross", but rather low and unsophisticated). That's the entire point. But that doesn't change the fact that, when the topic is of real importance outside the casual circles of society, "keeping it real" is no way to make an impressive argument. Arguing against bad legislation is the one time language needs to be cleaned up and eloquent. And dumb levels of hyperbole don't help make the argument seem legitimate. It makes it look like the objection of the spoiled. And in that, it does more harm than good.

Thank goodness that Congress most likely isn't going to lean on Urbandictionary during the debate on the bill.

rcocean said...

Wow, Tibore is "Careful" and "Moderate"; he doesn't like "Hyperbole".

Good for you, here's your brownie point.

Writ Small said...

Ridiculing stupid things is fun.

Unless it's a trial by ridicule, which is bad.

Unless it's deserving of that ridicule, which is good.

Unless it's me that's being ridiculed, which is back to being bad.

Methadras said...

Wrong. The DMCA is the godfather of this legislation and it is even shittier than what SOPA proposes.

Rusty said...

e shittiest piece of legislation the U.S. government ever came up with.



1/19/12 1:41 PM

Answer in the form of a question, please.

Chip Ahoy said...

I don't know what all the whoop-de-do is about sopa!

I order sopa all the time. Menudo, peozole, bullabesa, sopa de mariscos, sopa de tomate, caldo de pollo, sopa de rabo de buey, e muchos otros.


Never mind.