It’s all about controlling information (and free speech) on the internet via two new legislative bills. Since the censorship of the internet failure using ACTA, two new bills PIPA and SOPA have been raised. Unsurprisingly, the names of these bills have nothing to do with protecting IP’s.
PIPA – the Protect IP Act
SOPA – the Stop Online Piracy Act
Summary – (the non- legalized version)
- The US Department of Justice can obtain court orders against any Web site
accused of facilitating or enabling copyright infringement
- Actions could include barring online advertising networks or payment
companies from doing business with the infringed Web site
- Internet service providers must block access to such sites
- Unauthorized streaming of copyright content is a felony
How Does This Affect You?
Blog Sites could be blocked or shut down – the internet will become a hunt for any
possible copyright violation. These acts make it the blog owners responsibility for
everything that is displayed on their site, including the comments of visitors.
Less Innovation – These acts are stopping developers from coming up with the next
big thing in the online market that could change how we use the internet. If these
acts were in affect when the internet was started many of the most popular sites
would not have come into fruition. (No Facebook, YouTube, MediaFire, SoundCloud,
Twitter, DropBox etc…) as any website can be targeted as a place where online
piracy could take place.
Legal Action Over A Child Singing A Song – It is quite oblivious that none of the
people on sites like YouTube have been given permission from record label execs to
sing their favourite song, and then proceed to post it on a video sharing site.
The site the child will have posted the video on will be put under pressure to resolve
this issue, or face their site being put on the blacklist. This child, and her family, could
also very well face legal action with either the site or the record label the song that
was sung has copyrighted.
The U.S. Government Hope They Will Spark Global Change – The U.S. government
officials and private corporations aren’t only concerned about how these bills will
work out in America, they are hoping that they will have the influence to get other
nations to follow suit with these acts passing. That means if these acts pass, then the
next country this could be coming toward may be yours.
Protect IP Act
PIPA, if passed, will give U.S. corporations and the government the right to seek
affirmative legal action with any website that they see as enabling copyright
infringement weather of U.S. origin or not. They will have the power to:
- Force U.S. internet providers to block access to websites deemed as enablers
of copyright infringement
- Seek legal action by suing search engines, blog sites, directories, or any site in
general to have the black listed sites removed from their website
- Will be able to force advertising services on infringing websites, and those
supporting of them, to remove them from their advertising accounts
- Companies will also have the power to sue any new websites that get started
after this bill is passed, if they believe that they are not doing a good job of
preventing infringement on your website
Stop Online Piracy Act
SOPA, if passed, will work in conjunction with PIPA as a U.S. government and private
corporations black list having the power to:
- The U.S. Attorney General can now seek a court order that would force
search engines, advertisers, DNS providers, servers, and payment processors
from having any contact with allegedly infringing websites
- It will allow private corporations to create their own personal hit lists
composed of websites they feel are breaking their copyright policies. These companies will be able to directly contact a website’s payment
processors a notice to cut all off payment involvement with the targeted website. This payment processors and website of question will then have five
days to act before it is simply taken down.
- Payment processors will have the power to cut off any website they work
with, as long as they can provide a strong reason of why they believe this site
is violating copyrights
Like most legislation, neither bill actually does what their titles claim they
do, and both basically amount to online censorship – Gathering Spot