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The “Stop Online Piracy Act” (HR 3261), introduced in October in congress and into the USS legislate system, needs to be stopped.

This act is supposed to empowers copyright holders to seek punitive action when their material is reproduced online. However, it will do so (if it does so) with tremendous collateral damage to tzhe Internet as we know it. For example, the rules of Fair Use would allow you to do parodies - and yet, copyright holders have used Copyright claims to try and suppress political remixes of trading spots, have tried to suppress the citation of parts of texts in critical blog posts, or to suppress the redistribution of unwelcome and "leaked" information in the past. In the future, they could use these claims to simply force Internet Service Providers to block access to the websites hosting these unwelcome remixes, articles and blog posts, and force Paypal and other services to transfer your donation money to them. In other words, the possibilities of censure this law includes are alarming.

Aside from that, the danger this law would provide to fannish culture? You guess it. Just imagine live journal blocked, for example, because somebody posted or linked a movie remix. Your beloved icons? movie pictures? fannish articles? All reasons to block access to your sites, if some copyright holder honcho should decide so. And I imagine this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Please, those of you on my f-list who live in the USA - do everything in your power, e-mail or write your senators or representatives in congress, call them, go demonstrating, sign petitions, do whatever you can to STOP THIS. This is serious, and the danger to the Intern et as we know it is immediate. and no, Obama refusing to sign that bill will not be enough - not if instead the bill gets through modified and just a little less bad, but still FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond Repair) enough to wreak havoc with the Internet as it is now.

As I said before, this is serious, and the danger is immediate.

Read more here on AlterNet:

Kill the Bill: The “Stop Online Piracy Act” and Why It Matters by Max Coleman

And at the site of the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

How PIPA and SOPA Violate White House Principles Supporting Free Speech and Innovation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also created an activist platform where you can contact your representative or Senator: Take Action Now.
Or you can go to the Strike Against Censorship Site to sign that petition.

Those of you who are not citizens of the US can still sign a petition to the state department. I just did!

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
engarian
Jan. 18th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
I emailed my Representative and both of my Congresspeople this afternoon about this. It's SUCH an important issue!

- Erulisse (one L)
crowdaughter
Jan. 18th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking action! Problem is, we down here in Europe will be affected as well (and don't think that if this goes through in the USA, we will not be the next to have it introduced here), but while we can support the fight against that bill, we cannot immediately take action. I did sign an international petition about this, however.

What these two bills (PIPA and SOPA) will do if they go through, I don't want to imagine!

Edited at 2012-01-18 09:07 pm (UTC)
spiced_wine
Jan. 18th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
I did sign an international petition about this, however.

So did I, Aislynn.
crowdaughter
Jan. 18th, 2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Spiced Wine! I would love to do more, but well - at the moment, they try to get this through in the USA. Here in Europe, there have been several attempts to get acts like this introduced into the legislative system, too, and will be again. So far, they tried to introduce Internet censure in Germany merely on the grounds of blocking access to child pornography and on reasons of protection of youth, and even that caused a storm of protest due to the possible collateral censure effects. But the music and content industry has attempted to get similar laws into the legislative system down here, too - sooner or later they will try to put it into an EU directive.

All attempts at censure like that need to be stopped everywhere!
spiced_wine
Jan. 18th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
All attempts at censure like that need to be stopped everywhere!

I completely agree.
randy_o
Jan. 19th, 2012 12:25 am (UTC)
I would email my Congresspeople, but my Representative and most likely one of my Senators are very conservative and are a lost cause. However, the bill is losing support in the Congress and the White House says that the President will not sign them without drastic revision because of the free speech issues.
crowdaughter
Jan. 19th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
Yep, but there are still too many supporters of it in congress left, and if the president signs a less drastic version that version will still cause endless problems for sharing information and content. SOPA and the slightly less broadly formulated PIPA are both bills that will make it much harder to do a parody, share information a corporate company or a public office doesn't want to get out (by claiming the documents leaked are copyrighted), do a boycott call (the logo used to point to the company you call to boycott is copyrighted), and so on. and I am not even starting to talk about the possible restrictions to fannish culture, which basically builds on other peoples (copyrighted) content.

Spiced Wine linked to a great article here, one which I think is to the point about the intention and the outcomes of these bills, and that says more about the reasons why both bills and any possible modification of them needs to be stopped than all other arguments. The content industry wants to put the Djinni back into the bottle. we need to keep that Djinni free so we can keep our Internet as it is now.



randy_o
Jan. 19th, 2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
Rachel Maddow did a piece on this last night which pointed out that the 'supporters' of this bill have no idea what 'copyright' means if taken to the extreme, because many of the bills sponsors have copyrighted images on their websites for which they neither attributed or asked permission. "But, it's just a photograph!"

They've been lobbied to death by people whose movies are being pirated and either sold or given away, and whose music is getting the same treatment, and I do have some sympathy for the victims of outright piracy.

Of course, there's the more nefarious group that wants to use this as an excuse for censorship -- shut down a site that's saying uncomfortable things and proving them with your own words.

But, my Representative, James Sensenbrenner, and my junior Senator, Ron Johnson are two of the worst right-wing corporate shills ever to hit Washington. They will support the nefarious ones when it comes down to it. My senior Senator, Herb Kohl is a possibility. This is his last term in the Sentate and he has nothing to lose.
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