SOPA or How to Use Copyright as an Excuse to Censor the Internet

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A screenshot from tumblr protesting against SOPA

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is a proposed bill that has the potential of ending freedom of speech on the internet. While it appears to be about piracy and “protecting copyrights”, the bill gives the power to corporations to complain to law enforcement to have websites shut down. To many, this is a step too and goes way beyond fighting illegal downloads. Here’s an article from CNN Money about internet companies (many of which have close ties to the government) opposing this bill.


Tech giants say SOPA piracy bill is ‘draconian’

A proposed new bill intended to combat online piracy has sparked a giant backlash from big tech companies, including Google and Facebook, who say the proposals are far too strict and rife with unintended consequences.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was introduced in the House of Representatives in late October, aims to crack down on copyright and trademark issues. Its targets include “rogue” foreign sites like torrent hub The Pirate Bay.

Protecting content is a worthy goal, but here’s the flip side: Opponents say SOPA — and a similar bill called the Protect IP Act that is making its way through the Senate — effectively promotes censorship.

If SOPA passes, copyright holders would be able to complain to law enforcement officials and get websites shut down. The law would also force intermediaries like search engines and payment processors to withhold their services from targeted websites.

That would be quite a change from the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which mandates that companies “act in good faith” to remove content that infringes on copyrights and other intellectual property laws.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt called the bill “draconian” during a speech in Boston on Tuesday.

Google and other tech behemoths — AOL, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga — also lodged a formal complaint on Tuesday in the form of a letter sent to key Senate and House lawmakers.

“We support the bills’ stated goals,” the letter reads. “Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities [and] mandates that would require monitoring of web sites.”

The companies are asking Congress to “consider more targeted ways to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites.”

SOPA’s critics — some of the Internet’s most heavily trafficked sites — launched an awareness campaign on Wednesday. Hundreds of sites adopted black “STOP CENSORSHIP” logos, including BoingBoing, Reddit and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

One site tried to annoy consumers into action. Blogging site Tumblr blacked out words in its content feeds, and a message at the top of users’ dashboards read: “Stop The Law That Will Censor The Internet!”

“Congress is holding hearings today and will soon pass a bill empowering corporations to censor the Internet unless you tell them no,” Tumblr wrote in a post Wednesday, calling the bills “well-intentioned but deeply flawed.”

Meanwhile, SOPA has drawn support from groups including the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, which say that online piracy leads to job loss.

Proponents of the bill dismiss accusations of censorship.

The legislation would “[prevent] those who engage in criminal behavior from reaching directly into the U.S. market,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, who introduced the bill, said in a statement Wednesday. “We cannot continue a system that allows criminals to disregard our laws.”

– Source: CNN Money

 

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47 Comments on "SOPA or How to Use Copyright as an Excuse to Censor the Internet"

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My reaction will be portrayed by the bluest hedgehog in the world
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NNhz905i78

Is this the start of Coyrighting.. gulp… people? Think about it.. They'll probably and undoubtably have already done this in some cases *ahem .. wikileaks* cough.. I doubt it will stop there, soon you may not be able to go anywhere that even has a wiff of Copyright material, an ample oportunity to cut everyone off one by one, you won't be able to visit your friends social page because you will need to coyright your material. This is quite a disturbing notion as is these creative articles. There's more creativity in this analisis site than anywhere in the mass media ironically <3

Unexpectedly, Wikipedia stands up against it. *claps hand* Jimmy Wales proposed the blackout, saying a “public uprising” was required to halt the progress of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) through Congress. “Right now, what I'm thinking is that if there is a credible threat that this might happen, this could have a positive impact on the thinking of some legislators,” he said in a posting to his personal page. “Do not underestimate our power – in my opinion, they are terrified of a public uprising about this, and we are uniquely positioned to start that,” he added. Mr Wales said a “community strike” in which the English version of Wikipedia would be shut down worldwide would put most pressure on Congressmen. He invited Wikipedians, as contributors to the non-profit website are known, to give their views on such action in preparation for a more formal poll. Wikipedians have previously… Read more »

Please sign the list to preserve a free and open internet: http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet/?cl=142

I fear this will really killed off my own movie projects that crossovers everything from Anime, Cartoons, Games, and so on to Real Life and satirizes Conspiracy Theories

Hi all. First thing: I am sorry about reviving this post. Second: Sorry for my bad English. Well, I can just say: Long live GNU, GPL and Open Source. Indeed, some people may think that those licenced softwares from GNU, GPL or Open Source are useless or nothing compared against the top ones, but I think that this censorship is not present just on the internet. Also, I am not saying that none of us is inocent, people have to learn that they do the internet for themselves, and if someone tries to be a black hat hacker, then this person is contributing to censor the internet creating excuses to the Corporatocracy to do so. So the next step now is to identify where is the main mass of those peoples that create excuses, you may not believe me, indeed we are free to hold our decisions, but I think… Read more »

Well, VC, it's been nice reading your material. I'll just assume your articles will be unavailable for reading sometime (how long, who knows) after the passage of this bill.

How can people sit back and just take this? UGH. But then again, what can we do? Occupy the White House?

Occupy the white house, England, where ever the hell we need to!!! Those I must admit the Occupy movement has become infiltrated and co-opted.

If they do this, hackers are going to go crazy on government websites and companies who support this bill. i think this is only going to make it worse, there are so many brilliant people that have the inteligence and information to turn the networks upside down, if it's made by men there is always a way to go through or arround the "sollution" that they have angainst piracy or censor ship.

this is sad. this country is going downwards. but the strange thing is that they make it sound like its a good thing..but its just a preparation for the nwo.

so in what way is the bill to protect copyright owners from theft translate to censorship of the internet? a bit confused on that point…

See if this video helps answer your question:

http://vimeo.com/31100268

The question I'd be posing is this: is a government capable of not abusing that sort of power, especially given the abuses we know of that occur within the US government?

I came across a flyer today. Actually a kid brought it home from school. I saw it sitting on the table, and I noticed a masonic ruler & compass. I had to be nosy and see what it said ! Here we go: First I will describe the logo across the top ! State initials, a picture of the state with the ruler & compass logo centered from top to bottom ( which is what caught my attention) CHIP, and a picture of a finger print. It read: Time is critical. Every year in the U.S., thousands of children become lost. A few are victims of abduction. Here's how ( state initials) CHIP work…. The masons of ( state) hold and fund the entire cost of identifications workshops for families all around the state. They are called ( state initial) EVENTS. They are sponsored by local masonic lodges , and… Read more »

Yeah, I commented a couple of months ago when my son brought home round cardboard coaster in his bookbag with a giant eyeball in the middle, and around it said something like, Prevent blindness, Oklahoma Masons.

ugh my computer messed up and posted my comment before I was done.

@githe- LOL yeah that's what I said! To the point that for a second I wondered if they meant it as a joke, then I remembered that most people would not think anything of it or even realize that they were being mocked. A free brainwashing with every eye exam!

@githe- LOL yeah that's what I said! A free brainwashing with every eye exam!

How (laughably) ironic….

no censorship is ████████████

They are trying to take away the freedom God gave us..This is the 'Big Brother' of real life.

They are trying to confine us, but Jesus has given us freedom already !! =)

Have been voting against the bill every few days through Avaaz.org.

Dam no more kick ass torrents.

Glad to see you put this up VC! I saw it today and was surprised it hasn't been reported on much…….then again I'm not surprised, in the big picture. This is a HIGH quality, fantastic documentary explaining the place in time we find ourselves. Cannot recommend it enough. That Chris White is one blessed kid! *AGE OF DECEIT* (FULL) Fallen Angels and the New World Order youtube.com/watch?v=wjmFm8PIz8M It is a biblical look at the history of fallen angels and it's relationship to the New World Order and the new age movement. Topics covered are the fall of mankind, the pre-flood world as Atlantis, the new age through theosophy, the fallen angels and their origin of planting the seeds to society, UFO's, ET's and abduction cases, demonic possession, channeling, and more. All of these things are explained and predicted in the bible. It is truly an eye-opener to the signs of… Read more »

Thank you Sarah. A great find.

"Know Your Enemy" by the Fuel Project and "Aquarius- the Age of Evil" are also excellent documentaries on the NWO and the Bible's relevance in discerning good/truth from evil/Satanism. Stay the course and keep the faith!

I haven't seen either of those, thank you so much for the recommendation!! On my list for the week. Much appreciated~

I can't bless you enough for putting that link here Sarah. The fact that you put it there and that I forced myself to watch it instead of doing any other much-less-importing thing, might mean the conversion of my father and other relatives. I was looking for a documentary that resumed pretty well EVERYTHING, and that is it, it's fantastic.

Thanks a lot and God bless you!!

Pure Awesomeness! Whatever works……

Jude 1:21-23

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

And of some have compassion, making a difference:

And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Peace~

That surpasses understanding!

youtube.com/watch?v=0QwVekS886w

yes! i'll have to agree. that was definitely inspired by the holy spirit.

thank you! and God bless! <3

Sign the petition against the law http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet/?fp

DONE.

Thanks. Done and done!

Everytime i think Alex jones or someone else states some theory which seems to Big to be real i get stunned that it is not that far from reality .

Chains you can believe in…

fuuuuuuck that ill send 100 people to the next world before i give up anything

p.s. i love you v.c. (heart)

Im wit you on that one!

The legislation would “[prevent] those who engage in criminal behavior from reaching directly into the U.S. market,”

It wouldn't be criminal if they do not make it criminal to begin with!!! It's circular logic!

Yes, sort of trying to justify one's belief in God through the holy text of one's religion.

Person A: God exists, and the is His word.

Person B: Why is this?

Person A: Because God says so.

Person B: How do you know God is real and that He says this?

Person A: It says it in the .

Circular reasoning is definitely at work in the passing of this bill, as well as the PROTECT IP Bill.

Yes, how could I forget about that…one little bit closer to the sun and we'd fry, one little bit away from the sun and we'll freeze. Wonderful Creator.

Oh really? And what about the wonders of creation we see all around us! But wait…everything came into existence by chance of course – there is no Creator. Silly me! ^o)

Ha! Faith, indeed, but more so, the changes seen in ourselves when we submit to the His Holy Spirit proves that God is real.

He is real because I've stopped being an addicted, promiscuous mess. The End.

This is disgusting. Is it really "inevitable?"

They won't stop till they tell you when to use the restroom, what meals you'll eat on what day, and what your kids will do in their futures.

Read The Giver by Lois Lowry. Although it is not related to this, your comment just reminded me about it. Sometime in the future, they live in a world that seems like what the illuminati are trying to create.

1984, Big Brother

The sci-fi thriller Gattaca is somewhat similar to this also. As far as a world controlled by 'handlers' and Puppet Masters..

wpDiscuz