Stop PIPA

Another legislative monstrosity is also in progress, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).  We need to fight it.

I got the following from

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/protect-ip-act-stop-online-piracy-act

which explains what is going on.

Overview

The Protect IP Act (PIPA) is a U.S. Senate bill introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy. Along with its House counterpart Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the bills are designed to provide the government and copyright holders with powers to block access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods,” especially those registered outside the United States. Since its introduction on May 11th, 2011, the proposed bill has been met by opposition from various digital rights activists and bloggers for its encroachment in online activities protected under the first amendment of free speech. Congressional hearings for both bills began on November 16th.

Background

If passed by Congress, Protect IP Act would allow the government to curb public access to websites that have “no significant use” other than infringing copyright, enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. It would also make unauthorized media streaming an act of felony and hold the web publishers and hosting services responsible for curbing their users from posting copyright-infringed content.

In addition, Stop Online Piracy Act would effectively rid of the safe harbor provisions in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which grants Web sites immunity from prosecution as long as they act in good faith to take down infringing content upon notice. Under strict interpretation, a wide range of online communities and social networks including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook would have to censor users or get shut down and ordinary users could be imprisoned for five years or posting any copyrighted work.

Developments

Online Reaction

The legislation has been opposed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Yahoo!, eBay, American Express, Google, Reporters Without Borders, and Human Rights Watch. EFF’s blog post titled “What’s On the Blacklist?” listed media-sharing services Vimeo and Flickr and e-commerce community Etsy as websites that could be put at risk under the Stop Online Piracy Act. Fight for the Future published a 3-minute infographic video explaining the basics of the bills and their impact on everyday activities of online interactions.

A number of online entrepreneurs like Reid Hoffman of Linkedin, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley signed a letter to Congress expressing their opposition to the legislation.

October 19th: Free Bieber Campaign

On October 19th, 2011, “Free Bieber” campaign was launched by Fight for the Future. According to the satire website FreeBieber.org, Justin Bieber could be technically sent to prison for the videos he had uploaded to YouTube prior to stardom.

A new bill in Congress makes posting a video containing any copyrighted work a felony– with up to 5 years in prison. But wait… didn’t Justin Bieber get famous by posting YouTube videos of himself singing copyrighted R&B songs? Yep. If this bill passes, he could get 5 years in jail.

The campaign was subsequently covered on BoingBoing[26], Torrent Freak[27], and TechDirt[28] the same day.

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