EXCEPTION TO MY “NOT POLITICAL/ACTIVISTY” THING. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
I also apologize if you see this more than once. I’m putting it everywhere for maximum visibility.
I also apologize now for any errors in formatting/linking. I’ve tried to catch them all, but I might have missed a couple. Thanks.
Normally I don’t do these “repost” things, but this one is kind of important. As a content creator, it affects me, and through me, affects you.
My lovely Editor of Awesome, Skyla Dawn Cameron, sums it up best:
“Trying to fight pirates on technology isn’t going to work. You have you start young and change minds before they get to that stage. Won’t fix everyone but it’s the sense of entitlement that’s the issue, not access to things. That’s not to say I don’t think finding ways to close down piracy forums and that is a bad thing, but we all have the same access; we don’t all steal. So what makes the two groups–thieves and non-thieves–different, and how can we raise more kids to be the latter? Further, there ARE laws to stop piracy already. It’s already illegal. It just needs to be enforced. Go to a torrent site, get IP addresses, and start fining. Not a couple of big cases for millions because that makes you look like a bad guy, but fine lots of people for several hundred – thousand per offense. And FFS show people the consequences of using piracy forums funded by organized crime–show people the link between their actions and human trafficking, etc.”
Bet you didn’t know that, did you? Bet you didn’t know that online piracy had any kind of connection with the shadowy underworld of what could laughingly be called “humanity.”
Now, onto the rant.
Look, people. Banning something is NEVER the answer. Did we not learn anything from Prohibition? All this is going to do is make criminals out of innocent people, like me. I’m a content creator. This bill affects me, and it will, through me and the other content creators you love, affect you too. Please support the effort to kill this insane idea.
The following was originally posted by LiveJournal user “nyxmidnight” at Save the Internet. It’s kind of a big deal.
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 Stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation will now be systematized and streamlined – as long as someone, somewhere, thinks they’ve got an IP right that’s being harmed.
Thanks for reading. Please, spread the word however you can.