Lamar Smith: SOPA Author, Copyright Violator

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Have you heard of SOPA? Of course you have. Have you heard of Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who in October filed SOPA -- which promotes harsher penalties and even jail time for people caught violating copyright laws, and is basically the reason that today you can't access Wikipedia and Reddit and various other sites, which are protesting the act? Lots of people are mad at Smith, because if there's anything people do really well on the Internet, it's get mad at people who threaten to take away their "free Internet" (more about all that here). They've gotten so mad that they've gone to Smith's website and done a bit of digging, and, well, it appears that Lamar Smith may be in copyright violation himself. This is called "Internet Justice."

Jamie Lee Curtis Taete at Vice writes,

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for rsz_498585131.jpg
via
I decided to check that everything on Lamar's official campaign website was copyright-cleared and on the level. Lamar is using several stock images on his site, two of which I tracked back to the same photographic agency. I contacted the agency to make sure he was paying to use them, but was told that it's very difficult for them to actually check to see if someone has permission to use their images. (Great news, copyright violators!) However, seeing as they're both from the same agency and are unwatermarked, it seems fairly likely that he is the only person on the entire internet who is actually paying to use a stock image (and he'd be an idiot not to).

So I took a look back at an archived, pre-SOPA version of his site.

This is a screenshot of his site as it appeared on the 24th of July, 2011. [At right, above]

And this is the background image Lamar was using. I managed to track that picture back to DJ Schulte, the photographer who took it. [At right, below]

And whaddya know? Looks like someone forgot to credit him.

Schulte had no record of Smith ever requesting permission to use the image, and said that it had been available under the Creative Commons license, which required users to attribute the image to him and not use it for commercial purposes. The image does not appear to be attributed. Said Schulte to Vice:

"I do not see anywhere on the screen capture that you have provided that the image was attributed to the source (me). So my conclusion would be that Lamar Smith's organization did improperly use my image. So according to the SOPA bill, should it pass, maybe I could petition the court to take action against www.texansforlamarsmith.com."

Oops! The house of cards is crumbling.

The Author of SOPA Is a Copyright Violator [Vice]
Related: Breaking: SOPA, PIPA Lose Co-Sponsors, Might Be Stopped in Congress

[h/t @amandafactorOMG]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.


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51 comments
Ipl hair removal
Ipl hair removal

Thanks for nice posting i will visit your site again for updates like this.

A User
A User

This guy wants to be Re-Elected for 2012... I hope he looses becuase if he doesnt, i dont think the internet will live.

InstantMALE
InstantMALE

Lamar Smith is a douchebag and must be removed from office, 

Lee Baker
Lee Baker

Although I wish I could agree with you, that is not the same picture...

C
C

Just another embarrassment for the State of Texas.

With all due respect, Mr Smith himself does not understand the ramifications of the legislation that he has introduced. His very own campaign website had to be radically changed due to copyrighted images being used without permission.

In addition he accepted almost twice the amount of campaign contributions from Movie/TV/Entertainment lobbyist groups/businesses as his fellow lawmakers in 2010. I am further enraged that he refuses to listen to the very residents of his state and plans on continuing to fight for a flawed bill.

It should also be noted that, the multi-billion dollar Porn industry has been working quietly, behind the scenes, for years urging for better copyright protection from the myriad of "Tube" and other free sites that have popped up all over the internet. It's interesting, that these are precisely the types of sites that would be most effected by this legislation.

The porn industry, ironically was also a driving force in the adoption of many of anti-piracy DVD formats, system security and encryption protocols adopted in the last decade.

Contrary to what we are to believe, the legitimate TV/Movie and Music industries are not hurting. Sales of DVD and CD's have not suffered and in fact many artists have embraced technology to INCREASE their sales. Sony, BMG and many other entertainment companies were trading higher than ever prior to the latest economic downturn.

I'm sorry, but it is clear that Congressman Smith is only interested in keeping the businesses that have kept him in office, for 26 years, happy above and beyond eroding already damaged civil liberties in the name of protecting business over the right of individuals. It is precisely this type arrogant and misguided decision making that prompted the framers of our constitution to stand up to tyranny and adopt laws protecting the rights of INDIVIDUALS.

SOPA PIPA cannot work. Clearly the supporters don't understand the impact of the laws themselves. This needs to be identified for what it really is, in clear terms: THE SANCTIONED CENSORING AND REGULATION of the Internet in violation of free speech.

The reasoning behind the bill is much less important than the end result. Compelling arguments can always be made, but liberties once lost, are hard fought to be won again.

Shame on you, Congressman Smith and shame on us in the state of Texas for continuing to support ludicrous politicians like you.

Letj Know
Letj Know

In every which way, Lamar Smith has proven he doesn't belongwhere he is at today!

GB
GB

Lamar. Dude, it's freakin' 2012 ! Nobody wears a freakin' toupee anymore ! Get over it ! Nobody is going to think any less of you without hair ! I promise. Think about it, how much time do you waste, screwing around with that thing ? It looks ridiculous ! Who do you think you're fooling ? Doesn't it get hot ? Lose the rug ! You know, on second thought, if losing the rug means going to one of those hideous comb overs...

GB
GB

Lamar Smith is with Homeland Security. The last thing this guy needs is more power, what he has is going to his head. Oh, speaking of his head, never trust a guy who wears a toupee. Come on Lamar, lose the rug. Go bald dude, dark sunglasses, it would be so "you", in your real form.

osxx
osxx

This day just keeps getting better and better.

Blacklabelpaul
Blacklabelpaul

His site has been updated but it looks like his design team lifted another photo....http://www.propelmg.com/siemens-rcs/c... you look closely - you can see where they extended the clouds and some trees and cropped out the text....

John Cavin
John Cavin

sadly, though HE is breaking his own law, he will stick to "I'm right everyone else is wrong this is bad bad bad."

Blazinggrey12
Blazinggrey12

I'm not advocating for him or SOPA or anything, but looking closely, it seems as if the picture identified as his website background isn't the picture that's actually on the site...

Jbeach03
Jbeach03

I'm not pro-SOPA by any means but that picture does not look like the background look at the  bottom right corner, they don't match

Blr61
Blr61

You have all heard it before.  Term limits for all, social security, retirements,...etc.  I wish a moderator at one of these debates would bring up that question.

Blr61
Blr61

Don't even try to contact Lamar Smith's office via the internet that Al Gore created.  You will be wasting your time while waiting for a reply.  All you will recieve from them is that this mailbox is un-attended.  If you are lucky, you will get a reply from an underling.  But, in my experience I have not recieved one back for 6 months.  I asked for a congratulatory card from the white house for my in-laws 50th anniversary.  I was instructed through the white house people to send my request through Lamar.  I did months ago.  I was contacted by his people that it was all in the works, and, we would recieve it before the blessed event.  Guess what, no card signed by the commander in chief.  Happy Anniversary Ann and Bert, but, sorry no card from the president.  It is a service the white does for big occasions.  I got one for my parents for their 50th.  But, they live in a different district.  And George Bush felt it was an important part of his job.  Apparently at that time he did'nt police his underlings.  Encourage everyone you can to vote.  Unlike the last campaign " Vote, and vote often "  November will be here before we know it.

Maralexanian
Maralexanian

Wow, you would think he would clean up his dirty mess huh? 

Marina
Marina

Not to his defense but I doubt Lamar Smith would have been in charge of designing his ugly ass campaign site. It was probably an intern and sadly, I think Lamar Smith would have no problem firing that intern for life. There is the possibility the site might have gotten approved by Smith but I also highly doubt that and figure his campaign pr people didn't pick up on that either because again, that's the problem with this bill in the first place. Copyright/intellectual property is a really tough subject that some bill isn't going to fix.

Nathan
Nathan

@e0febc32d9422443190555b29060dc79:disqus : His site doesn't allow robots.txt - that'd be a little difficult to get proof.

Jake
Jake

Someone please post a Wayback Machine link to where his website was ever using this image.

Dat Guest
Dat Guest

******* *********!

[Censored by SOPA/PIPA]

Lisacarol
Lisacarol

What does Lamar Smith  have to say about his violation?

Roy Baker
Roy Baker

RETIRE ..................................... Lamar 

Hehaw70
Hehaw70

So republican Lamar Smith is the author of SOPA? Even though these letters relate to a title, pronouncing it sounds like the spanish word for SOUP! So is he friends with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez?Red China would also love this bill! Censorship that's what this is about! Then we have the other communist sympathizer democrat Patrick Leahy (did you know he met with Elian Gonzalez (Fidel loving uncle before Elian came to Florida?); why target everyone in the U.S for censorship when it is online piracy that you're trying to target? 

Dale P
Dale P

That's a really old computer there - the lack of anti-aliasing on the text in the Twitter screen capture is shocking!

Chonburi Sam
Chonburi Sam

It's the same picture, just cropped inwards. Don't compare it edge for edge, look more towards the center of the original photo and you'll see that it's just zoomed in. If you go to his site now, it's been removed and totally changed lol. What a douche. 

Aafo
Aafo

It is the same picture. It's cropped.

I M Zack Rocha
I M Zack Rocha

I dont care....I just want to blame him....He should be the only victim of SOPA and then SOPA should burn in hell....

Blr61
Blr61

Of course, we are his sheep following him blindly, or as the politicicians are used to hogs to the trough.

Stacey
Stacey

It's cropped, only a small portion of the picture is used. If you open the picture in a new tab and zoom you'll be able to see where it starts.

Fgjslkdfjdfbg
Fgjslkdfjdfbg

A segment of the picture was used, not the entire thing. You can easily match where the crop is in the backround segment. 

Andy
Andy

Its zoomed in,dipshit.

Sean
Sean

You might be retarded. Get that checked out.

Jbeach03
Jbeach03

Grow up and quit acting so entitled. I don't know why you'd want Obama's signature anyways. Either way, there are far greater issues the "commander and chief" should be spending his time on. Quit wasting their time, they need as much of it as possible to get us out of this mess

JBinIndy
JBinIndy

Like him or nor, like the legislation or not, but that remark is 100% uncalled for.

GB
GB

 Marina, the guy who "steers the ship" owns responsibility for all who work for him. No excuses.

SweetieH
SweetieH

That's the beauty of SOPA & PIPA. SOPA & PIPA don't give a damn that it wasn't your fault or you "didn't know."

Guest
Guest

or its just resized..

Blr61
Blr61

I'm sorry, but, this is a common problem I see at my place of employment.  If the condition is fairly new, the patient cannot get the cranium completely into the anus.  Thus, reducing blood flow to the temporal lobe which makes the subject tired and lethargic.  Unfortunately, personnel that repeat this behavior are consistent in their endeavor and finally get their head all the way up to the gland that makes them to be stupid.  It is a naturally occuring phenomen really.  Once the patient gets his head up his ass he seeks other asses to stick it up, usually starting with the nose.  It is an ailment that occurs throughout all industry.  Especially in the governmental occupations.  Mostly, I have observed it in corporate America.  I would like to propose legislation for both. HUA and N in C.  ( Head up Ass, and Nose in Crack )  Although NIC is not as serious as HUA we must all strive to get funding for this ongoing problem.    

Youareanidiot
Youareanidiot

you are an idiot if you actually think President Obama sits there and signs those.

Blr61
Blr61

Really, The only reason for the card was that the mother in law sang praises to Obama and now she hates him.  It was going to be a joke for them and us.  As far as wasting time, he spends more time on the golf course than I have in the past 20 years.  My golf game sux because I don't play as often as I like because I have a job.  Unlike you.  Possibly you should serve your country as I did in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Provide Comfort.  You are the one that is entitled getting your welfare check.  The commander in chief does not spend his time on greater issues.  He stopped the pipeline today that had shovel ready jobs to START NOW.  Oh, but you would not know abou that since you don't have a job, and care not to get one.

Anon
Anon

eat a barrel full of dicks!

Sean
Sean

I'm fine with it. Responding was 100% uncalled for as well but you felt the need to. 

Guest
Guest

shut the fuck up faggot

Dave Emerson
Dave Emerson

Not really.  Cappy only owns responsibility if his subordinate is acting within the subordinate's corporate authority.  I.E. the leader is not responsible for a subordinate who commits rape, since such action is clearly beyond the scope of his employment.  "Knew about it and failed to take appropriate steps to stop it" is the proper measure of upper level responsibility.  (The abrogation of this rule is precisely what is wrong with SOPA)

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