If you haven’t heard, there’s a fight happening right now in Washington that will affect your access to a censored (or not) internet.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) are bills that seek to deter online piracy of Intellectual Property and is supported by big names such as The Motion Picture Association of America, The Directors Guild, Recording Industry of America, and Viacom, to name but a few. The legislation is opposed by other big names such as Google, Yahoo!, Electronic Frontier Foundation, numerous Internet “entrepreneurs” such as those who founded Twitter, LinkedIn, and others, to name but a few.
On the one hand yes, reasonable protection to copyright is, well, reasonable. On the other hand, posting on Facebook or YouTube a video of your niece singing along to Lady Gaga’s latest creation ought not land you in jail.
This legislation as written will lead to censorship and even forcible shut down of some very popular and culturally important websites. The oft-repeated comparison to censorship in China may not be that implausible.
Perhaps the creative minds (of these creative industries) can come up with better ways to protect their profits. Instead of putting big road blocks in front of everyone, maybe try… what’s the word…, oh yeah: innovation!
Here is a link if you are interested in signing a petition or contacting your legislators.
Happy (uncensored!) computing!
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