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Congress Working To Censor The Internet Very Soon … Starting Today!

| Filed under: Icky Icky PooPolitik

PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

"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.

For example, when one little kid wants to upload a video of herself rapping Nicki Minaj to Facebook, the entire site could be blocked for each and every user.

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.

Senator Wyden also points out the proponents will "paint the issue as simply being for or against intellectual property, but that's a mistake."

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!

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27 comments to “Congress Working To Censor The Internet Very Soon … Starting Today!”



  1. 1

    What are we… China?



  2. 2

    This is very bad, nothing good would come of this.



  3. 3

    Once again, it's the GOVERNMENT who's violating our nation's own Bill of Rights and Constitution and making it harder for people to simply live. We're becoming more fascist as this bill advances. Fuck that! It's like they're tearing Internet down as a whole. How the hell is a video of a kid playing with music in the background harmful???? Does FREEDOM OF SPEECH ring a bell to these assholes??



  4. 4

    This would bring down your website. I am all for it!



  5. 5

    It sickens me that the few damn corporates leech off the rest of us and deprive us of our rights. Who knows, they might make inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide illegal.



  6. 6

    They just HAVE to have control of EVERYTHING don't they? There are much bigger problems than this, and THIS is what they're worried about? Can I get some affordable healthcare??? What about that?



  7. 7

    Mario,
    -
    Did you forget to say that this effort, to steal more freedoms from Americans, is led by the Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon and the other Democrat Congresscritters and Senators?
    -
    Hell, these people won't be happy till we are North Korea.
    Afterall, North Korea has been battling Capitalism and evil profits for decades and winning!



  8. 8

    I'm sorry, but, by people not looking into their government, they deserve this. I have been letting people know about this problem since the beginning of this year, but all I got was a deer-in-th-head-light stares. Maybe, we should take a break from worrying about the next celeb and start focusing on our govenment and what they are doing. We are loosing the freedoms of this land and no one isn't doing/voicing anything. I am talking to my neighbors, printing papers and writing papers to my fellow students and so-forth. What about you?

  9. Jaded says – reply to this


    9

    Before you make yourself look like even more of an ass please do yourself and all of us a favor and actually read the Protect IP Act. Maybe this well written explanation by someone who can read will help you out.

    1) At the outset, the Bill has a savings clause because Congress knows it treads on First Amendment thin ice. So it tells us that nothing should be interpreted here to interfere with the First Amendment, lest the court strike it down. Things like Fair Use - the noncommercial video of kids dancing to Lady Gaga that this article's author seems to be concerned about - are creatures of the 1A. They were designed to, long ago, save the Copyright Law from the same criticisms. Minus all the youtube. So those big scary questions about grandma's cat listening to musicals aren't really at issue here, and Congress has basically said as much in the first 10 pages.

  10. Jaded says – reply to this


    10

    1) At the outset, the Bill has a savings clause because Congress knows it treads on First Amendment thin ice. So it tells us that nothing should be interpreted here to interfere with the First Amendment, lest the court strike it down. Things like Fair Use - the noncommercial video of kids dancing to Lady Gaga that this article's author seems to be concerned about - are creatures of the 1A. They were designed to, long ago, save the Copyright Law from the same criticisms. Minus all the youtube. So those big scary questions about grandma's cat listening to musicals aren't really at issue here, and Congress has basically said as much in the first 10 pages.

  11. Jaded says – reply to this


    11

    2) There are two distinct mechanisms at play that, understandably, might get conflated if you aren't reading carefully. The first is Section 104, which provides immunity to "a service provider, payment network provider, Internet advertising service, advertiser, Internet search engine, domain name registry, or domain name registrar" for voluntarily taking down your site because it ::reasonably believes:: that your site infringes someone's copyright. It's a narrow but important little tool here - if your ISP or web hosting company says "you know what, this might be an infringement of copyright," and that belief is reasonable, they can take down your site and you can't sue them. That's it, nothing more. Note that if it's crystal clear that your site isn't an infringing one, then you can sue them to your heart's content, just as you would right now (to my mind, it's your only legal remedy if your domain host decided "hell, let's just turn this whole thing off.").

  12. Jaded says – reply to this


    12

    Re: edymond – I'm sorry that you feel that this bill violates your rights to STEAL.
    Maybe you're not aware that illegal downloading of movies and music affects the behind the scenes crew more than the studios and the artists. Is Steven Spielberg going to notice if his residuals are down from internet theft? Not likely. Is the crew member or studio worker who's livelihood, retirement and medical benefits depend on those residuals? Most definitely. The studios don't pay residuals on stolen items. I work 16-20 hour days for people like you to STEAL directly out of my pocket. Cry me a river that you're going to be blocked from websites that allow you to be a THIEF.



  13. 13

    Are they serious with this?



  14. 14

    FYI…I like how the owners of this website "FORGOT" to tell you that Senator Ron Wyden is a Democrat…….the Reblicans are trying to stop this bill…just saying



  15. 15

    that's complete bullshit!!! so much for the constitution nowadays



  16. 16

    americans, if you're country really is the bastion of democracy you all believe it to be, then you need to start protesting this now!!!

  17. auds says – reply to this


    17

    What is wrong with these law makers?! I am absolutely disgusted that they are letting anti-piracy overrule free speech. People can speak freely, and companies need to stop being SO greedy!!! Next think you know, we'll be speaking Chinese…



  18. 18

    This problem has nothing to do with companies being greedy.
    -
    This has everything to do with Democrat lawmakers stealing more power for themselves.
    -



  19. 19

    Not surprised these companies want to make more money and don't care about the little guy. This is total BS the reason I love the internet is because we all have a voice no matter how rich are poor we are if we are famous or a regular Joe. I hope this law does not pass because if it does the internet will be screwed and no longer for all.



  20. 20

    For the record I am against Piracy and people do have the right to control how their music/movies/brands is used considering they spent money to create it but with the economy just crashing around us, I am sure there are more pressing matters to spend tax Dollars on



  21. 21

    This is an obvious move by the federal government to insure that they can shut down the internet if a "wikileaks" situation should arise again. Hell, maybe that situation is happening right now and thats why the quick behind the curtain deal is going on. OCCUPY



  22. 22

    Thank God I wasn't born an American. Hasn't Congress just criticised the Arab nations for doing the very same thing? What happens to freedom of press and media? Are you fucking going backwards?



  23. 23

    this is just another way for the Obama administration to try and control our lives. get their asses out of congress this is ridiculous and if this happens i'm moving the country. i will not live in this nation and watch one man bring it down. #NOBAMA this isn't china and i'm sick and tired of this governments policies. aren't we the land of the free? guess not anymore. damn ridiculous!



  24. 24

    we live in a fascist regime!



  25. 25

    Silence The People.



  26. 26

    To correct the record, Sen. Ron Wyden (Oregon Dem) is the ONLY SENATOR OPPOSING this. There are FORTY SENATORS (Republicans AND the Democrats) that are pushing this through Congress. If you live in any of those states, you better let them know what you think.



  27. 27

    Re: Jaded – What is a library?