SOPA

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        "Stop Online Piracy Act" in case you are wondering.

        I've just been reading up about the Act that is being considered to be brought in by the USA. 

        Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

        The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a U.S. House bill to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Proposals include barring advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with allegedly infringing websites, barring search engines from linking to the sites, and requiring Internet service providers (ISP) to block access to the sites. The bill would criminalize the streaming of such content, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

        User-content websites such as YouTube would be greatly affected, and concern has been expressed that they may be shut down if the bill becomes law. Opponents state the legislation would enable law enforcement to remove an entire internet domain due to something posted on a single blog, arguing that an entire online community could be punished for the actions of a tiny minority. In a 1998 law, copyright owners are required to request the site to remove the infringing material within a certain amount of time. SOPA would bypass this "safe harbor" provision by placing the responsibility for detecting and policing infringement onto the site itself.

        Lobbyists for companies that rely heavily on revenue from intellectual property copyright state it protects the market and corresponding industry, jobs, and revenue. The US president and legislators suggest it may kill innovation. Representatives of the American Library Association state the changes could encourage criminal prosecution of libraries. Other opponents state that requiring search engines to delete a domain name begins a worldwide arms race of unprecedented censorship of the Web and violates the First Amendment. The bill could make some proxy servers and the Tor project illegal.

        On January 18, the English Wikipedia, Reddit, and several other websites coordinated a service blackout to protest SOPA and its sister bill, the Protect Intellectual Property Act, or PIPA. Other companies, including Google, posted links and images in an effort to raise awareness. An estimated 7,000 smaller websites either blacked out their sites or posted a protest message. A number of other protest actions were organized, including petition drives, boycotts of companies that support the legislation, and a rally held in New York City.

        In response to the protest actions, RIAA stated "It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users and arm them with misinformation," and "it’s very difficult to counter the misinformation when the disseminators also own the platform."


        This is absolutely huge and I just wonder if the US actions will affect the rest of the world.  What are your thoughts on this bill?  How do you think it will affect you?  Do you think this is one step too far now?

        blue

      • 2d4818989f1ca7ccfaccc9b2527a6916
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        I think it's definitely a step too far, this could lead to bankruptcy for several websites and it could also have a domino effect all over the world. I understand that they want to protect jobs in some industries but they also have to realise that the affected websites offer jobs as well.
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        I just hope like million of internet user for the scenario where Sopa is not approved...and all of us can prosper in a free internet world...cheers
      • 9s1jj83
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          Mighty! Member
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        I definitely think this is a step too far... welcome to the police state! I can see this crippling major parts of the internet and staunching the free flow of information the internet has made our everyday norm. And that will have to have an effect on the internet worldwide.

        katt
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        what doesnt the government have its claws in
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        im totally shocked it has even been able to be made into a bill, it really needs to be torn up and thrown away as soon as posible, this will just mean other countrys will follow suit then, and the whole world is just gonna turn to rubbish and also further more, the amount of disruption and uproar this will cause, it is outrageous to say the least..

        i really really hope they see sense and tear this bill up, it could lead to a lot more serious things in the future, and would this mean a form of dictatorship, seems soo to me very very shocking

        LuckyRJ
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        One thing is definetly sure, piracy is unstoppable in any way and judging by the loads of crap entertainment industry produces every day i really dont think it should be. So basically i dont think such a thing will ever be adopted, at least not in a democratic world. If however i end up being wrong piracy will not suffer for more than a very short period of time before it changes its form again.

        One thing i must mention when it comes to online privacy is: what is that the end user gets from it today? For me sites like youtube are more like preview before i buy and there is absolutely no way you will find a good quality music or movie nor there nor on the torrents. To someone, quality may be not important but i think in technological era of 21'st century it is for majority of ppl. So my point is i still need to go and pay 20 euros for a blue ray disc if i want to watch a movie properly. What i dont want however is to throw that 20 euros on a garbage (which is high probability these days), which means that at the end greed of the entertainment industry will be their ultimate downfall, espetially if this act passes. They will simply lose a very good marketing and that is one more reason i think this act will never pass.



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        That's a very valid point drtheolen.  It could totally backfire on them.

        The US will be dictating to the rest of the world what they can and cannot see on a website. 

        A prime example would be the poker sites that were taken down under the UIGEA.  I'm in UK and I couldn't get on them.  Gambling is perfectly legal here but all I saw was the US DoJ logos as did every other person in the world. 

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        To digress a bit, i always believed there are 2 sides in every story. In this particular i know that some sites made quite a large sums of money by offering someone else's intelectual property for free but taking money through marketing, or pay per click programs and similar.

        One good example for this are World of Worcraft pirate servers. Its a online video game i used to play a lot and the story about those private servers is that they made a server side programs by reversed engeneering (it was made by programing enthusiasts of open source community, and for the most part it was unfinished and full of bugs) and hosted by some shady underground sites. People could use original WoW client to login to such servers and enjoy the game for free, although in a very buggy experience. These scum sites failed to comply on almost every possible part of EULA  of that game and made large amounts of money through donations and selling of virtual ingame items from a game that they do not own. They were thouroghly seized and shuted down once every year in past 6 years, yet they still exist and the only reason they do is because they provide free markteing to blizzard (that is company that owns WoW) and from their perspective it is better for peaople to play WoW on pirate servers and talk about it than to go play a free alternatives which there are bunch today.

        Thinking of that if that anti piracy act sees the light of dawn i will certainly not be sorry if criminal scum who makes tons of money dissapear, but i fear some innocent sites will cease to exist while others will continue to operate and make money in some other form.
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        Here is the latest on SOPA and PIPA...

        SOPA, PIPA Stalled: Meet the OPEN Act
        By Christina DesMarais, PCWorld    Jan 21, 2012 1:15 PM

        SOPA and PIPA may have been put on hold -- thanks to possibly the most contentious uproar seen on Capitol Hill and in the tech world ever -- but other legislation was introduced this week to combat online piracy.

        Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) introduced H.R. 3782, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, the same day as an Internet protest when a number of high-profile websites such as Wikipedia went dark. Issa says the new bill delivers stronger intellectual property rights for American artists and innovators while protecting the openness of the Internet. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has introduced the OPEN Act in the U.S. Senate.

        OPEN would give oversight to the International Trade Commission (ITC) instead of the Justice Department, focuses on foreign-based websites, includes an appeals process, and would apply only to websites that "willfully" promote copyright violation. SOPA and PIPA, in contrast, would enable content owners to take down an entire website, even if just one page on it carried infringing content, and imposed sanctions after accusations -- not requiring a conviction.

        Darrell Issa (D-California)According to Issa’s site KeepTheWebOpen, which elucidates the bill in its entirety and asks for people to comment on it, “If the ITC investigation finds that a foreign registered website is ‘primarily’ and ‘willfully’ infringing on the IP rights of a U.S. rights holder, the commission would issue a cease and desist order that would compel payment processors (like Visa and Paypal) and online advertising providers to cease doing business with the foreign site in question. This would cut off financial incentives for this illegal activity and deter these unfair imports from reaching the U.S. market.”

        OPEN has received support from technology giants such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others, but the Motion Picture Association of America complains in a statement (PDF) that the bill goes easy on Internet piracy.

        Hollywood’s staunch and powerful support of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) in the House, and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) in the Senate is much maligned. In fact, one influential Silicon Valley investment firm says Hollywood is dying and it plans to help kill it by funding startups that will compete with movies and TV.

        “The people who run [Hollywood] are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise,” reads a post on Y Combinator’s website, which also argues that files-haring isn’t going to be what kills movies and TV, better ways to entertain people will.

        Wikipedia's blacked-out site (click to enlarge)Regardless of what investment firms, technology companies, Hollywood or Washington think, piracy isn’t going to go away and the future of an open Internet is still not secure with SOPA and PIPA merely tabled and not entirely abandoned.

        And ironically, in the midst of all the debate and tumult, the United States government on Thursday took down MegaUpload and charged its New Zealand operators with piracy. The action “demonstrates why we don’t need SOPA in the first place, points out PCWorld’s Tony Bradley.

        In retaliation for the government’s action, the hacker group Anonymous is claiming responsibility for attacks that have felled websites run by Universal Music, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Recording Industry Association of America.

        Clearly, this quarrelsome issue will not be cleared up any time soon, but OPEN might be a good alternative to bring people closer to being on the same page.

        katt

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