Looks like the Internet is winning a battle against some really bad potential law.
To me, “the Internet” means the people who use it; the systems, not so important.
The bad law: SOPA and PROTECT-IP, which supposedly address real needs, but in practice, are means by which bad actors (with lots of money and lawyers) can take sites down. They talk about oversight to prevent abuse, but … I’ve been in customer service for around seventeen years, and there are always loopholes which enable abuse.
For what you can do:
- General stuff via craigslist
- Good advice from the Electronic Frontier Foundation
- The reddit/PCCC petition
… and please think about how you, as part of the Internet, can contribute to the common good, and think about how that can become part of what you do every day. Thanks!
Craig, I couldn’t agree with you more! Thanks for making a stand. We all must keep fighting this poorly designed legislation.
If this were put to a popular vote and not the usual quiet, corrupt march of dollars through congressional coffers, it would be defeated in an instant. The only real pushback on this sort of censorship-without-oversight is with the large providers of internet services and content themselves – fortunately these represent huge, influential economies as well.
Sadly, this is a political ploy couched in economic harm. The reality is that the entertainment industry ignored digital distribution for a decade and now wants to make it someone else’s fault, even as the music industry – the first victims of illegal distribution – has seen more adept organizations realigning themselves to a (nearly)free music distribution and live-concert-profit-center model. Any economic harm, if it exists at all, should be recognized as managerial malfeasance in the entertainment industry and should not be used as the excuse to subvert the world’s means of informed decision-making.
Worse, this is most likely to then be used as a pretext to limit political, religious or scientific information that some might find embarrassing, unpleasant or against political or religious credo – eliminating the huge democracy that has been created by instantaneous and unfettered access to information.
One would hope that it is embarrassed back to the dark ages from whence it sprang.
Tim O’Reilly concurs:
Ok So million dollar corporations are saying that craigslist is cutting into their profites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But yet there ready to take the paycheck out of the small mans pocket. The small business man that cant afford to advertise anywhere else. The mother that sits home and makes jewerly and sells on craigslist. The Painter, The landscaper. All of us little guys that depend on craigslist to make a paycheck to feed our familys. They want to take our paychecks away. Why? Because there PROFITS are being cut into. How selfish, inconsiderate Jerks. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!. There going to take from the people that can get out there and find a job. So they use cratigslist to self employ them selves with odds and end jobs.
Are we turning into China? What ever happened to free speech?
This is a very interesting law which can have very drastic and negative affects to the online industry. In a time where everyone builds their business online and shares their thoughts, ideas, and new discoveries on social networking sites and even company blogs, the amount of sites that could have the potential of being shut down is enormous and a number that could change the very essence of what the internet has become. Granted, protecting the rights of intellectual property is not wrong. In fact, it’s important to provide some sort of protection. The issue here lies in the purpose of the bill not lining up with its terms of execution and accountability allowing more room for harm than good. It is important to recognize and understand the burden many organizations will have to carry with this law in the midst of approval. How would that affect the way we communicate, the way we learn and share knowledge, the way we innovate and create? How will that change the way we do business? The way we study? It will completely change the way we use the internet and could in essence cause one of the most drastic dot com downturns since it’s creation.
What’s even more interesting is that the author of SOPA has been found guilty in copyright infringement himself. With that said, if the lawmakers themselves are having trouble distinguishing the difference between right and wrong in this situation, I find the effectiveness of this bill to be at the low end of the scale.