U.S. Internet Censorship bill (SOPA/PIPA)

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U.S. Internet Censorship bill (SOPA/PIPA)

Postby Arnock » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:35 am

So it looks like congress is trying to pass a bill that would block any sites suspected of copyright infringement, and it would even allow prosecution of sites like Youtube for content that users submit. Furthermore, one could actually go to jail for up to 5 years simply for posting a video on youtube that contains copyrighted or trademarked content.


Rueters wrote:The House Judiciary Committee unveiled new legislation Wednesday designed to crack down on online piracy.

The proposed legislation would grant the federal government broad powers to cripple websites that host illegal content.

Labelled the Stop Online Piracy Act, the bill would allow content creators and the government to effectively shut down websites they claim are violating copyright laws by pulling ads and disabling their credit card processors.

Also read: Anti-Piracy Bill Passes Committee; Senator's Objections May Derail It

It also allows the Attorney General to seek injunctions against foreign websites that traffic in pirated U.S. movies and television shows.

Copyright groups and content creators hailed the proposal as an important means to safeguard intellectual property rights, but consumer advocacy groups warned that the punishments dictated by the new legislation were overly harsh.

"There is no need for a bill this sweeping and this Draconian,” Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, said in a statement. “There are simple, easily implemented solutions on which industry and others agree -- such as cutting off the ability of credit-card companies to fulfill payments to sites that traffic in copyright infringement.”

In an opinion piece on Forbes, Consumer Electronics Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro echoed Sohn's concerns, writing Wednesday that the legislation is so expansive it threatens legitimate web retailers.

"... the bill is so broadly written that, in theory, 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," Shapiro wrote.

Yet, the bill received a rapturous response from the business community and some big-name support in the entertainment industry.

“Our creative industries provide good jobs for millions of Americans and represent one of the country’s most important exports. However, we face an increasingly difficult battle against entities overseas that shamelessly steal our valuable products and illegally market them online for their own gain,” Philippe Dauman, Viacom president and CEO said in a statement. “[The bill] provides the Department of Justice and rights holders critical tools to ensure that the creative work of Americans across the country is protected from offshore internet parasites.”

“Websites that blatantly steal the creativity and innovation of American industries violate a fundamental right to property,” Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, said in a statement. “Operators of rogue sites threaten American jobs, endanger consumer safety, and undermine the vitality of the online marketplace. I commend Representatives Smith, Goodlatte, Conyers, and Berman for standing up to the mass theft of American intellectual property.”

House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) introduced the bill along with committee members Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.).

It is similar to the PROTECT IP Act, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last May, but stalled after Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Oregon) placed a hold on the bill. Wyden argued that the bill infringed on free speech and would discourage innovation.

Even though Hollywood and its top lobbyist, MPAA chief Chris Dodd, have launched a full on assault on lawmakers to get tough on piracy, discomfort within the technology industry will likely mean that the new legislation will face a fierce battle before it becomes law.




If anyone is interested in doing something about it, I would strongly encourage you to write your local congressmen. The site http://www.americancensorship.org/ has some additional info.
Last edited by Arnock on Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Epimer » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:01 am

Extremely heavy-handed approach, and I say that as someone who's strongly in favour of IP rights in general. Very, very harsh legislation.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Passionario » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:36 am

Epimer wrote:Extremely heavy-handed approach, and I say that as someone who's strongly in favour of IP rights in general. Very, very harsh legislation.

Bloody stupid one, too, and I say that as someone who protects IP rights for a living.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Worldie » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:16 am

Excessive, would be surprised if it really gets approved.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Epimer » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:20 am

Bloody stupid one, too, and I say that as someone who protects IP rights for a living.


Me too, but that's a somewhat recent development :)
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Jeremoot » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:03 am

They tried this a while back with the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.

I don't think they'll let it be passed, and if they do, I'll be at a loss for words.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby halabar » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:31 am

Some congressmen have some lobbyists in their pockets again.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby PsiVen » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:49 pm

Really preposterous ideas have been spewing from the media lobbies for years, but they remain powerless.

As John Gilmore famously said, the internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it.

The only thing to fear from this sort of legislation is the continued uselessness and timewasting of Congress...
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:41 pm

The proposed legislation would grant the federal government broad powers
Say no more...I vote NAY! :D
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Crimsonheart » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:48 pm

i dont think they can prosecute them...the websites are licensed over seas, they have to get approval over there.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Thrornir » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:09 am

A big part of it (as I understand it), is the copyright holder can go to every ISP in the US, point out the offending websites and say 'hey, make sure that the internet users can't go there'. so it's censorship through prosecution and also through influencing third-parties to block content.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby RedAces » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:20 am

@Thornir: this accomplishes nothing because you can use Proxies or the TOR network to access this site anyway.
Or... they can just make a new site with the same content (very cheap) and the gov has to block it again costing them (and the ISPs) a good chunk of money. See? They can only loose...
As PsiVen said the internet will adapt faster and better than any gov. or big company can react...
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:22 am

Thrornir wrote:A big part of it (as I understand it), is the copyright holder can go to every ISP in the US, point out the offending websites and say 'hey, make sure that the internet users can't go there'. so it's censorship through prosecution and also through influencing third-parties to block content.

And folks want the US gov't to institute net neutrality legislation...You give them an inch an they take a mile, every single time.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Tev » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:51 pm

Fridmarr wrote:And folks want the US gov't to institute net neutrality legislation...You give them an inch an they take a mile, every single time.


Crux of the problem right here. You can't even get them to properly block/stop kiddie pr0n uploaders, how can you expect them to circumvent every form (and every new form that pops up when the old is shut down) of P2P software? And who will the lawyers be going after, the prime offenders (the uploaders) or the incidental offenders (downloaders).

Go after the downloaders and your doing nothing to solve the problem, you might get 1-3 per 10000, and they'll be replaced by more. Go after the uploaders, and you cut off the source, but the prime issue there is when the uploader exists in a location whose laws would forbid legal action (or make it extremely difficult) against this person.

Even if the law passed, I don't think they have the money or the resources to pull off what they want. Then again, with the way the RIAA screws over their artists, maybe they do have the cash.
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Re: U.S. Internet Censorship bill

Postby Tev » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:07 am

Little something new that I found that throws this whole thing into a state of hilarity.... apparently the new bill would allow the blocking of the domain name (i.e. maintankadin.failsafedesign.com) but NOT the numeric IP address, (i.e. 207.192.x.x).

It would do nothing to actually block pirates, but would make it easy to censor any site that 'potentially promotes pirating'.

http://lifehacker.com/5860205/all-about ... r-internet for a link to the article I found revealing this little bit of information.
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