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US: Ogre "relief" bill includes CASE Act, felony streaming bill, and money for Israel
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Members of Congress were given just a few hours to read the massive 5,600-page spending bill that passed both legislative chambers on Monday evening. The COVID-19 relief bill was attached to the must-pass $1.4 trillion spending bill. The $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, supposedly to support industries and workers affected by the ongoing pandemic, allocates money to extraneous concerns and includes a number of smaller bills that would not have otherwise become law this legislative session.

These included two significant changes to copyright law.

One was the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020, legislation that Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced two weeks ago. The act makes it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to run a pirate streaming service.

The omnibus also included the CASE Act, a proposal to create a new "small claims court" for copyright infringement. Instead of filing a conventional lawsuit, copyright holders will be able to file a complaint with a new agency called the Copyright Claims Board. The CCB will function much like a court, hearing evidence from both sides and then deciding whether to award damages. Internet users could face up to $30,000 in penalties for sharing a meme or making a video, with liability determined not by neutral judges but by biased bureaucrats.

The CASE Act is supposed to be a solution to the complicated problem of online copyright infringement. In reality, it creates a system that will harm everyday users who, unlike the big players, won’t have the time and capacity to negotiate this new bureaucracy. In essence, it creates a new “Copyright Claims Board” in the Copyright Office that will be empowered to adjudicate copyright infringement claims, unless the accused received a notice, recognizes what it means, and opts out—in a very specific manner, within a limited time period. The Board will be staffed by “claims officers,” not judges or juries. You can appeal their rulings, but only on a limited basis, so you may be stuck with whatever amount the “claims board” decides you owe. Large, well-resourced players will not be affected, as they will have the resources to track notices and simply refuse to participate. The rest of us? We’ll be on the hook.


The relief bill includes hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel and its defense.

In the bill passed by US Congress yesterday – part of an overall $2.3 trillion package – the act under the heading of "Procurement, Defense-Wide" detailed a total of $500 million for the "Israeli Cooperative Programs".

Of that amount, "$73,000,000 shall be for the Secretary of Defense to provide to the Government of Israel for the procurement of the Iron Dome defense system to counter short-range rocket threats."

In addition to that, a further "$177,000,000 shall be for the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense (SRBMD) program, including cruise missile defense research and development under the SRBMD program, of which $50,000,000 shall be for co-production activities of SRBMD systems in the United States and in Israel to meet Israel's defense requirements consistent with each nation's laws, regulations, and procedures."


The Pentagon reportedly will receive $696 billion in the package. 


Meanwhile, the PEOPLE of the US, who should be the principal recipients of relief aid, receive crumbs from the table, as usual. The parts of the relief bill that would grant any help to the citizens and unemployed are severely limited, with the agreed $300 per week bonus jobless benefit reportedly being half of the federal unemployment benefit given in the previous package. That payment runs for 11 weeks in comparison to the 16 in the last package. To add to that, the direct stimulus payment of $600 to many people is also half of that given in March.



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Politicians on the left and the right are negligent in their obligation to serve the needs of the people.



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https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/202012...lief-bill/

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/12/ca...ght-battle

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/...r-BB1c6X7t
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