I'm giving this letter a test run to see what others think of me sending it to a Senator for New York.
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 know about.
You'll have to forgive me for automatically assuming corporate payoffs were involved in getting SOPA and PIPA so much as a mention uttered under one Congressman's breath. We have a particular law in this country stating, in these exact words, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Congress shall make no law... Abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. What part of that clause is so difficult to understand?
Understand that as a writer who has created a name for himsef online, I believe that the First Amendment - and the issues of free speech and free press in particular - might be kind of, sort of important. As I tend to frequently employ harsh language, I am seeing a future of a thousand tickets, at the very least, which I couldn't possibly afford.
As one who has a masterful command of the English language, I can also see a whole lot of wiggle room in the vague, technology-deficient, broad language. Interpretations tend to vary quite a bit, and the desires of the Attorney General and organizations like the MPAA and RIAA will probably bend and flex according to whatever interpretation suits their momentary needs. The RIAA in particular stands to be abusive on a level which rivals the Kim family in North Korea. Lest we not forget, the RIAA is an organization which has never quite come to terms with the very existence of the internet, and they have a ridiculous history of trying to sentence ten-year-olds to years in jail for downloading three songs which cost a collective total of about 15 cents.
Furthermore, it has been claimed that SOPA and PIPA will create thousands of new jobs. I'm well-read on the basic mechanics of a free-market economy, and I can safely say this claim is just bunk thrown out by SOPA and PIPA supporters attempting to parlay the needs of the American publc into support so they can keep their profits and hopefully get some fresh new lawsuit cash from the aforementioned flexible interpretations. As SOPA and PIPA would effectively close down the less-moneyed websites that can't aford lawyers, costing thousands more jobs. This is something that even the staunchest supporters of a centralized economy have pointed out!
I have looked at the list of supporters for these bills and have noticed that nearly all 142 of them are enormous corporations who would be the only ones to benefit from SOPA/PIPA enforcement. The NFL is on the list, and they have a monopoly which is not only legal, but recognized and enforced by the United States government! Makeup giants Revlon and L'Oreal, printing giant Random House, several television giants, MasterCard and Visa, Marvel, Disney Publishing Worldwide, Time Warner, MCA, and Sony are all supporting it. I can't say the presence of any of them is surprising.
This country is not the United States of China or North Korea. It is not the United Soviet States of America. It was built on a foundation guaranteeing every individual protection from infringement of their freedom of expression. That goes for everyone in the country - as a private citizen, the government has no right to make a law silencing me, either on behalf of its own desires or on behalf of some other private individual or organization. No matter how much money it's waving in front of Congressman Du Jour's face.
Please vote no on SOPA and PIPA. Then if possible, burn it and never speak of it again.
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 ...