I love the internet. No really, I LOVE the internet. It provides commerce, education, music, video, and tools for me and most of the connected world. The food I provide for my family is paid for by the work that I do on the internet. I am usually not keen to get too political on my little slice of the net here, but I would ask that you view the following short video about the Stop Online Piracy and the Protect Intellectual Property acts. This is a real eye opener.
I have been meaning to look into this further. I am not very familiar with this vote, but my general feelings on the internet is that any attempt to throttle or limit the free access to it will result as a net negative for our society as a whole. While there is plenty of bad on the internet, there is also plenty of good not to mention all of the commerce run across the wires.
I did a quick skim of the house bill which can be found at judiciary.house.gov and am not exactly keen om much of what I read. I don’t understand how the world doesn’t see the difference between a “head shop” that sells drug paraphernalia and YouTube which is just a road for content delivery. The internet is a different place than the real world, therefore new ways of enforcing laws must be used. With the new paradigm of the social environment, you use laws to apprehend offending parties, not the roads with which they perpetrate their crimes. Law abiding citizens use those same roads as well and it does appear that if this law is abused at all, we will all suffer for it. From what I can see this law will make any entity residing on the internet so gun-shy about content, it will ruin the freedoms we have learned to enjoy, respect, and benefit from.
See this snippet from the house bill:
SEC. 103. MARKET-BASED SYSTEM TO PROTECT U.S. CUSTOMERS AND PREVENT U.S. FUNDING OF SITES DEDICATED TO THEFT OF U.S. PROPERTY.
(a) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:
(1) DEDICATED TO THEFT OF U.S. PROPERTY.—An ‘‘Internet site is dedicated to theft of U.S. property’’ if
(A) it is an Internet site, or a portion thereof, that is a U.S.-directed site and is used by users within the United States; and
(i) the U.S.-directed site is primarily designed or operated for the purpose of, has only limited purpose or use other than, or is marketed by its operator or another acting in concert with that operator for use in, offering goods or services in a manner that engages in, enables, or facilitates
(I) a violation of section 501 of title 17, United States Code; VerDate Nov 24 2008 15:39 Oct 26, 2011 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\SLSTROKOFF\APPLICATION DATA\SOFTQUAD\XMETA October 26, 2011 (3:39 p.m.) F:\M12\SMITTX\SMITTX_056.XML f:\VHLC\102611\102611.161.xml (511202|2)26
(II) a violation of section 1201 of title 17, United States Code; or
(III) the sale, distribution, or promotion of goods, services, or materials bearing a counterfeit mark, as that term is defined in section 34(d) of the Lanham Act or section 2320 of title 18, United States Code
I am always wary whenever there is a new power-grab being put forth by our government, especially when it comes to the net. As I said, I write software for a living that requires the internet, so you could say when my bread and butter is threatened, I get concerned.
For more information, I found the americancensorship.org site to be a good resource.