The Party of Open: Open Government, Open Culture, Open Innovation & People First

Monthly archive: November 2010

We want your input on our next meeting

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We are scheduling our next meeting and we want your input on when it should be.  If you think you will attend, please visit: and fill out what dates/times you can make it.  Thanks!

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COICA Likely Dead for the Lame Duck Session

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PC Magazine is reporting that Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, would put a hold on the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA).  With so few days left in this session, Senator Wyden’s action likely will kill the bill.  While this development is encouraging, we continue the fight to stop the bill.  If it fails for this session, Senator Leahy (D-VT) will introduce the bill for the next session. We need your help.

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Senate Judiciary Committee Approves COICA Censorship Bill

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We are one step closer to emulating the censorship of China and other authoritarian regimes. The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act (COICA) this morning.  The following senators voted for it, many by proxy: Patrick J. Leahy — Vermont Herb Kohl — Wisconsin Jeff Sessions — Alabama Dianne Feinstein — California Orrin G. Hatch — Utah Russ Feingold — Wisconsin Chuck Grassley — Iowa Arlen Specter — Pennsylvania Jon Kyl — Arizona Chuck Schumer — New York Lindsey Graham — South Carolina Dick Durbin — Illinois John Cornyn — Texas Benjamin L. Cardin — Maryland Tom Coburn — Oklahoma Sheldon Whitehouse — Rhode Island Amy Klobuchar — Minnesota Al Franken — Minnesota Chris Coons — Delaware Whether the Senate or even the House of Representatives approves it, especially in this lame duck session, is an open question.  But while we fight to kill COICA, we should never forget the Senators who voted to impose censorship on the internet. Thanks to Tech Dirt for the list.

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COICA internet censorship bill is back. Help fight it!

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The Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is being reintroduced and may be put to a vote before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.  It already has seventeen sponsors! What is COICA? COICA would allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to force ISPs to block web sites and domain names that the DOJ thinks infringe on copyrighted material.  As the EFF states: The bill creates two blacklists of censored domains. The first is longer, and includes any sites where the DOJ decides that infringement is “central” to the purpose of the site. The bill gives ISPs and registrars strong legal incentives to censor the domains on that list. The Attorney General can also ask a court to put sites on a second, shorter blacklist; ISPs and registrars are required by law to censor those sites. It avoids due process and has no judicial review.  COICA is a censorship bill, plain and simple, and is counter to our 1st Amendment rights. As TechDirt points out, had this bill been law over the last hundred years, many of the technologies and industries we take for granted would have been considered illegal such as: Hollywood, the recording industry, radio, cable tv and mp3 players. Help fight it! The first battle is in the Senate, so please  sign the on-line petition against COICA, and, more importantly, contact both Massachusetts Senators and urge them to oppose COICA: Scott Brown (202) 224-4543 John Kerry (202) 224-2742 If you get a response from either Senators Brown or Kerry, please email us at info at masspirates dot org.  We would like to keep track of the responses our supporters are receiving. Thanks to for keeping track of this bill.

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General Meeting Sunday, 11/21, 2pm

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We will have a general meeting this Sunday, 11/21 starting at 2pm.  It will be at 25 Moore St., Somerville.  The current agenda is: status of political designation petition status of the COICA bill & the campaign against it review of draft constitution & by-laws discuss policy positions on ACTA, education, govt 2.0 & other issues deciding date/time/location of the December meeting. All people interested in the Pirate Party are welcome to attend. Reminder: our weekly IRC chats are now on Sunday nights.  We will post before the next one.

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