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17 November 2011 @ 11:54 pm
Save the Internet. It's kind of a big deal.  
Originally posted by nyxmidnight at Save the Internet. It's kind of a big deal.

PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

BoingBoing.Net -- The MPAA, RIAA, Hollywood knows that they have been flying in CEOs of as many companies as possible, recruiting people to get petition signups at malls in California, and here's the big point-- they know they have gotten their message through to Congress -- the worst bill in Internet history, the one where government and their corporations get unbelievable power to take down sites, threaten payment processors into stopping payment to sites on a blacklist, and throw people in jail for posting ordinary content is about to pass before the end of this year. The only thing that is going to stop Hollywood from owning the Internet and everything we do, is if there is a big surprise Internet backlash starting right now.

PROTECT IP (S. 968)/SOPA (HR. 3261) creates the first system for Internet censorship - this bill has sweeping provisions that give the government and corporations leeway and legal cover for taking down sites "by accident," mistakenly, or for NOT doing "enough" to protect the interests of Hollywood. These bills that are moving very quickly through Congress and can pass before Christmas aim to give the US government and corporations the ability to block sites over infringing links posted by their users and give ISPs the release to take any means to block peoples' sites, including slowing down your connection. That's right, some say this bill is a workaround to net neutrality and is bigger than net neutrality.

This is the worst piece of Internet legislation in history - the lawmakers who have been sponsoring (Leahy, Lamar Smith, Conyers) this bill need to be shamed by the Internet community for wasting taxpayer dollars on a bill that would break the very fabric of the Internet, create an Internet blacklist, kill jobs and great startup companies, huge blogs, and social networks.

How this affects you, personally:

EFF.org -- Let’s make one thing clear from the get-go: despite all the talk about this bill being directed only toward “rogue” foreign sites, there is no question that it targets US companies as well. The bill sets up a system to punish sites allegedly “dedicated to the theft of US property.” How do you get that label? Doesn’t take much: Some portion of your site (even a single page) must
  1. be directed toward the US, and either
  2. allegedly “engage in, enable or facilitate” infringement or
  3. allegedly be taking or have taken steps to “avoid confirming a high probability” of infringement.

If an IP rightsholder (vaguely defined – could be Justin Bieber worried about his publicity rights) thinks you meet the criteria and that it is in some way harmed, it can send a notice claiming as much to the payment processors (Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc.) and ad services you rely on.

Once they get it, they have 5 days to choke off your financial support. Of course, the payment processors and ad networks won’t be able to fine-tune their response so that only the allegedly infringing portion of your site is affected, which means your whole site will be under assault. And, it makes no difference that no judge has found you guilty of anything or that the DMCA safe harbors would shelter your conduct if the matter ever went to court. Indeed, services that have been specifically found legal, like Rapidshare, could be economically strangled via SOPA. You can file a counter-notice, but you’ve only got 5 days to do it (good luck getting solid legal advice in time) and the payment processors and ad networks have no obligation to respect it in any event. That’s because there are vigilante provisions that grant them immunity for choking off a site if they have a “reasonable belief” that some portion of the site enables infringement.

At a minimum, this means that any service that hosts user generated content is going to be under enormous pressure to actively monitor and filter that content. That’s a huge burden, and worse for services that are just getting started – the YouTubes of tomorrow that are generating jobs today. And no matter what they do, we’re going to see a flurry of notices anyway – as we’ve learned from the DMCA takedown process, content owners are more than happy to send bogus complaints. What happened to Wikileaks via voluntary censorship will now be systematized and streamlined – as long as someone, somewhere, thinks they’ve got an IP right that’s being harmed.

Stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation

MissTeacakes: romemissteacakes on November 18th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
I can understand the problem with wikileaks; It's necessary for the government to keep some things quiet. There's a limit, though.

Anyway, I just sent a message to Michigan's congresspeople through the EFF. Just so you know someone actually read this...
See you later, instigator: Assassin's Creed - high jumpoudeteron on November 18th, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
I must disagree about it being "necessary" to keep such things quiet. It's in their power interest, sure. But it wouldn't be necessary if state power weren't all about suppressing inconvenient information.

That's awesome you did! Thanks for that, really. I do think it's generating a huge backlash, but there's just no way to ensure they'll listen...

Whoops typoing, can you tell this is my first comment today.

Edited at 2011-11-18 11:17 am (UTC)
MissTeacakes: aqueductsmissteacakes on November 18th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC)
Honestly, most of America is fed up with how useless Congress is at the moment, and they're one mistake from getting their butts booted out of office.

I remember learning how these things work in school, and even if Congress passes it, I can't see Obama failing to veto it. By the time they'd get around to re-voting on it, it'll either be election season or just past it, so in one case they'd be worried about losing office, and in the other we might have all new members.

Really, it's a very complicated process, and somehow I can't see the bill being passed. *knocks wood*
See you later, instigator: Caution Sparta (by: SOURCE WANTED)oudeteron on November 19th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
I HOPE YOU'RE RIGHT. That's all I can say at this point, seriously.