By Mike Masnick
If you have to sneak your transformational copyright bill into a “must pass” government spending bill, it seems fairly evident that you know the bill is bad. Earlier we talked about how the White House is trying to slip a Section 230 repeal into the NDAA (military appropriations) bill, and now we’ve heard multiple people confirm that there’s an effort underway to slip the CASE Act into the “must pass” government appropriations bill (the bill that keeps the government running).
What does keeping the government running have to with completely overhauling the copyright system to enable massive copyright trolling? Absolutely nothing, but it’s Christmas season, and thus it’s the time for some Christmas tree bills in which Senators try to slip in little favors to their funders by adding them to must-pass bills.
We’ve detailed the many problems with the CASE Act, including how it would ratchet up copyright trolling in a time when we should actually be looking for ways to prevent copyright trolling. But the much larger issue is the fact that the bill is almost certainly unconstitutional. It involves the executive branch trying to route around the courts to set up a judicial body to handle disputes about private rights. That’s not allowed.
At the very least, however, there are legitimate concerns about the overreach of the CASE Act, and, as such, those supporting it should at least be willing to discuss those issues honestly and debate them fairly. Slipping them into a must-pass government spending bill certainly suggests that they know that they cannot defend the bill legitimately, and need to cheat to make it law.