Posts Tagged ‘SOPA’

SOPA Shelved, for Now

January 15, 2012

Here is a bit of good news from The Hill.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said early Saturday morning that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised him the House will not vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) unless there is consensus on the bill.

“While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House,” Issa said in a statement.  “Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote.”

The announcement comes just hours after Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), SOPA’s sponsor, made a major concession to the bill’s critics by agreeing to drop a controversial provision that would have required Internet service providers to block infringing websites.

This isn’t the end. They are probably planning to push through similar legislation in a year or so, when the public’s attention is diverted elsewhere. So, everyone who wants the Internet to remain free of censorship will have to stay vigilant.

Here is some more information on just what SOPA and related bills are designed to do.

 

 

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Blacking Out the Internet

January 3, 2012

I read in this story in Fox News that Amazon.com, Facebook, Google, and others are planning a blackout of their sites to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

In the growing battle for the future of the Web, some of the biggest sites online — Google, Facebook, and other tech stalwarts — are considering a coordinated blackout of their sites, some of the web’s most popular destinations.

No Google searches. No Facebook updates. No Tweets. No Amazon.com shopping. Nothing.

The action would be a dramatic response to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill backed by the motion picture and recording industries that is intended to eliminate theft online once and for all. HR 3261 would require ISPs to block access to sites that infringe on copyrights — but how exactly it does that has many up in arms. The creators of some of the web’s biggest sites argue it could instead dramatically restrict law-abiding U.S. companies — and reshape the web as we know it.

This is an extreme measure and normally these companies wouldn’t want to inconvenience their customers, but they feel that the dangers to freedom on the Internet is worth it. I agree. This is a bill that has to be killed.  While I agree that the entertainment industry has legitimate concerns about the theft of copyrighted materials, I feel that this bill is overkill. I’m sure that the real pirates will find ways around it while only the law abiding user will be inconvenienced.

For more information about SOPA go to Stop American Censorship.


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