Though SOPA has been scuttled and probably consigned to abandonment, public vigilance is essential to ensure that subsequent bills of its ilk aren't passed. Prospectively, ACTA is far more egregious by virtue of its international support and implications, and numerous significant developing nations haven't been consulted in regard to its development. Legislation of this sort is merely corporate avarice manifest, and neither the lawyers who draft these bills nor the politicians paid to enact them have the slightest interest in legitimate copyright protection.
I'm actually a stickler on the subject of my own intellectual property: I register the copyright of my every commercial project (music, comic books, screenplays, etc.) and will file civil litigation in the unlikely event when my work is plagiarized or sold without my authorization. Much of what I produce will be pirated, and I wouldn't think to interfere with this inevitability, even though I do stand to lose some profit to it. My forfeited lucre will be compensated by widespread exposure of my work via torrent or file-sharing, and those who honestly enjoy it will pay for it, be it in printed or digital form. Content creators - especially those who produce their work independently - must learn how to exploit piracy for commercial gain rather than run to government to curtail what it can't.
Furthermore, I'm of the opinion that copyright, like all intellectual rights, ought be assigned solely to individuals and groups who create content rather than corporate entities. No painter, writer, musician, illustrator, filmmaker, sculptor, etc. in possession of their intellectual property needs a lobby or the might of a corrupt political class to recoup what's rightfully theirs in response to instances of plagiarism and unauthorized sale; they require only the services of a lawyer and rightful access to a civil court. Political anti-piracy measures haven't anything to do with preserving the reputation or profit of artists and entertainers. This is how entrenched, outmoded entertainment industries which pollute culture with mediocrity and ugliness defend their monopolies on a relative handful of classic works and an abundance of drivel: by attacking new media when most people only want to see or hear a complete preview of what they might purchase.
Finally, why would anyone want to expand the scope of the Department of Justice's powers at a time when Attorney General Eric Holder has proven himself as lawless as any of the bureaucracy's targets by participating in the most illegal and disastrous ATF endeavor to date?
I'm giving this letter a test run to see what others think of me sending it to a Senator for New York. Dear Senator, I guess it would be redundant to ask for the release of the monetary figures it took to get this bill a foothold in Congress. Exchanges for bills like that tend to happen only under the table. Perhaps that's part of SOPA's appeal - stopping The Smoking Gun from blowing the lid off ny more Congressional scandals which the public should … more
It's hard to believe that someone thought that this was a good idea and that enough people rallied behind him that it actually became something real that people have to vote on. I get the feeling that the people behind this bill probably don't know much about the internet aside from the occasional horrible news story about downloadings and Craigslist scandals. Furthermore, it's not a stretch to say that a lot of the corporations rallying behind it are only thinking about the monetary … more
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as H.R.3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors. The bill expands the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Now before the House Judiciary Committee, it builds on the similar PRO-IP Act of 2008 and the corresponding Senate bill, the Protect IP Act.
The bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Depending on who requests the court orders, the actions could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators such as PayPal from doing business with the infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a felony. The bill also gives immunity to Internet services that voluntarily take action against websites dedicated to infringement, while making liable for damages any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement.
Proponents of the bill say it protects the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is ...