US Republican senator Lamar Smith is doing his best to get one of the worst aspects of the much rejected SOPA law back on the statute books.
Smith is so concerned that his chums in the entertainment business were spending too much money running around the world threatening foreign governments to bring in tough new copyright laws, that he wanted US taxpayers fund the work. After all Hollywood was broke and the US government had pots of cash it did not know what to do with.
His plan is to pay for civil servants to rush around the world with a brief case of MPAA and RIAA leaflets and threaten countries that do not comply with “repercussions.”
While the MPAA and RIAA might be ignored by small governments, the fact that these would be employees of the US government which is quite famous for invading other countries with high tech weapons, and nukes if things go wrong, is more likely to get attention.
According to Tech Dirt the diplomatic corp would call these “IP attaches” and they would have diplomatic status.
What is strange is that Smith is a Republican, who apparently is worried about smaller government and taxation, both of which are affected by this daft idea. After all a sane politican would think that if Big Content wanted to lobby countries it should pay for it and do it itself.
Fortunately for humanity this idea was rejected by a lot of politicans, including Smith’s fellow Republicans, who saw the writing on the wall for SOPA.
But that has not stopped Smith getting all wiggy with it and trying to bring the idea back, only bigger and better than before.
He has come up with the Intellectual Property Attache Act. This bill is being fast tracked in the hope that no one will notice it and not inconvience Smith with any anti-SOPA protest.
The new law creates those tax payer funded “diplomats” but attaches them to the US Patent and Trademark Office, and sets them up as their own agency. What could go wrong?