Blacklist bill, Protect IP act, SOPA. What exactly is going on?
Full Bill Summary added!
There is a big hype on the internet about the US government trying to censor, or even shut down sites with user generated content. Eg, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and even Gadgetzz would have to turn commenting off.
Risk of Jail for Ordinary Users
It becomes a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook.
Protect IP act:
The IP Act (S.968 – PROTECT IP Act of 2011) establishes a system for taking down websites that the Justice Department determines to be “dedicated to infringing activities.” The DoJ or the copyright owner would be able to commence a legal action against the alleged infringer and the DoJ would be allowed to demand that search engines, social networking sites and domain name services block access to the targeted site. In some cases, action could be taken to block sites without first allowing the alleged infringer to defend themselves in court. The PROTECT IP Act would allow copyright owners – movie studios and other content providers – simply to accuse a website of infringement, which could lead to that site being shut down by court order and entire links to the site being wiped clean from the Internet. The bill is so poorly written that it would allow any copyright owner to shut down a legitimate retail website, such as Amazon or Best Buy, by alleging that one product being sold on the site could “enable or facilitate” an infringement. It could even allow any content owner to block access to the Patent Office website if it receives and posts a patent application for a product that is believed to use content without permission. The PROTECT IP Act will hurt American innovation. This bill will give one side the power to put the other side out of business and this is dangerous beyond words.
The rumors were true: The new Blacklist Bill could effectively destroy YouTube, Twitter, and other sites that rely on user-generated content by making the sites’ owners legally responsible for content their users post.
It also includes provisions that would make it a felony to stream unlicensed content — including cover band performances, karaoke videos, video game play-throughs, and more.
It’s a grab-bag of Halloween goodies for a handful of big corporations — but for us it’s Frankenstein’s monster, cobbled together from half-born bills, set to suffocate free speech and innovation and terrorize consumers and Internet users.
The letter makes the same points many of us have been raising about SOPA. It’s way too broad, does not accurately attack the problem it’s trying to address, and will create massive liability for the internet & technology — one of the few sectors growing today, and which has contributed a tremendous amount to economic growth over the past decade. Basically it makes the simple point: stifling the growing tech industry, to appease a Hollywood that refuses to adapt, is no way to go about managing an economy.
Among those who signed onto the letter are Ron Paul, showing that he continues to be internet savvy and recognizes that regulating the internet is a bad, bad idea. Others who signed on include Reps. Jared Polis, Mike Doyle (the man who introduced Girl Talk to Congress), Doris Matsui, Mike Thompson, Lloyd Doggett, Mike Honda, George Miller and Zoe Lofgren (who’s been a vocal opponent to these attempts to stifle innovation from day one). We too often speak about politicians who aren’t representing the best interests of the public, but it’s great to see more and more elected officials recognize that SOPA is a gross overreach by a few big companies who don’t want to adapt to a changing marketplace. Kudos to the Congressional Reps here for taking a stand and protecting jobs and innovation.
They are effectively the same thing, the end of internet. And yes, this is real, we need to fight back. Here you can send a letter to your congressman, you dont even have to live in the US to do this.
ALSO: We need to completely overwhelm the social networking sites with info about this legislation so we can bombard Congress with constituent contacts: