"Today, the House Judiciary Committee will be hearing testimony related to legislation designed to combat online copyright infringement. The House Bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Senate version pursue an at-all-costs approach to policing the net that would have grave repercussions to the Internet as we know it." writes Senator Ron Wyden.
According to him and many other senators, the proposed legislation could strip certain freedoms of the people at corporations' wishes under the guise of copyright protection.
When someone wants to share a cool still from last night's The New Girl on Tumblr, the entire site could be shut down for each and every user.
These websites, among countless others, have proven effective as tools to share information in a fast-evolving world where freedom of expression is constantly facing new challenges.
Before we go any further, we would like to be clear and agree that piracy is a real issue. Using that issue to undermine freedoms, however, is an even bigger one.
Senator Wyden states:
Interfering in the Domain Name System (DNS) for example would undermine the net's structure and harm cybersecurity efforts. Authorizing a private right of action, for example, wouldn't just allow rights holders to use the courts to protect their intellectual property.
Companies could also abuse such authority to protect out-dated business models by quashing new innovations in their infancy and discouraging less than complimentary speech.
The freedoms of billions of individual Internet users should not be sacrificed in the interest of easing that pursuit. The decisions we make to police the Internet today will also govern how this relatively new medium will continue to develop and shape our world.
And yes, giving moneyed interests a louder voice and a greater ability to determine what that online world will look like, would fundamentally alter the Internet which currently treats all voices as equal.
The President and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association Gary Shapiro is another strong voice in the fight against this proposed legislation. He recognizes the loss of countless jobs this will create.
As the video above so eloquently puts it:
These bills will pass so maybe people will buy more Hollywood movies. But Hollywood movies don't get grassroots candidates elected. They don't overthrow corrupt regimes. The movie industry doesn't even contribute to the economy that much. The internet does.
This has become a very serious issue, readers. Please, educate yourselves and spread the word!
For more on what Gary has to say, click here.
For the rest of what Senator Wyden has to say, click here.
To spread the news, email Congress, and show your protest, click here to act now!