The most important battle of the internet is well underway
The internet makes a significant increase in tension between record labels and movie studios and technology.
Stop On-line Piracy Act is well under way in American Congress
Monday 9th January, By Stephanie Clark
The combat against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, may be one of the most important battles ever waged on the internet. It threatens to revolutionize the course of the web’s development, and not for the better.
Big Content (record labels, movie studios, etc.) have always had a difficult relationship with technology. Tension existed well before the web and it will always exist. The internet, of course, significantly increased that tension because it produced challenges never seen before.
The ability to digitize a piece of content and distribute it globally in a split second at almost no cost obviously had profound implications for Big Content. Wholesale, consumer-driven piracy never before feasible, for instance, became an actuality.
Big Content says the DMCA isn’t strong enough; there is just too much infringing content being uploaded all the time and it’s impossible for the takedown notices to work. In effect, the process becomes an useless game of cat and mouse.
Given the impact this dark and misdirected legislation would have on the online economy, it’s no surprise that many are coming together to do what they can to ensure it doesn’t become law.
American Congress is tackling a bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act and it’s proposing to prevent copyright infringement and illegally spreading content through Web sites, and one of its fundamental tactics is to remove one of the most standard legal protections Web sites benefit from.
Websites like YouTube are not liable for content individuals post on their site and these businesses have been effective in speaking up for themselves using the DMCA. The issue, however, is that in following the letter of the law, these providers didn’t appear to comprehend the unavoidable next step: if the law wasn’t working for Big Content, Big Content would simply make sure the laws were changed
Gary Shapiro, President of the Consumer Electronics Association, did not waste a lot of time in getting down to business, talking about serious matters. He commented:” politicians who are proudly unfamiliar with how the web works, but who are well accustomed to benefits from well-heeled copyright extremists.”
Under the proposed law any website on the web found to contain links to infringing content may be taken down for up to weeks at a time.
The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act gets rid of much of SOPA’s most sweeping federal power grab efforts, such as the link-related takedowns. While the OPEN Act has its flaws and detractors, clearly the internet industry likes it a lot better than SOPA, yet the proposal is supported by Google Inc., Facebook, and Twitter.
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