Happy 2012 – Say no to PIPA!
Happy new year all! Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2012.
And now for some really interesting but concerning news for the new year. Keep an eye on the PIPA (Protect IP Act) bill that is currently before the United States Senate. PIPA is “a bill to prevent online threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property, and for other purposes.”
PIPA, United States Senate Bill S.968 is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods”, especially those registered outside the U.S. Summary of Bill
PIPA, if passed, will give U.S. corporations and the government the right to seek affirmative legal action with any website that they see as enabling copyright infringement whether of U.S. origin or not. This includes:
- Force U.S. internet providers to block access to websites deemed as enablers of copyright infringement
- Seek legal action by suing search engines, blog sites, directories, or any site in general to have the black listed sites removed from their website
- Force advertising services on infringing websites, and those supporting of them, to remove them from their advertising accounts
- Companies will also have the power to sue any new websites that get started after this bill is passed, if they believe that they are not doing a good job of preventing infringement on your website
So what does this mean for you and me? Our websites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, etc would all become subject to blacklisting if found to be guilty of copyright infringement, even if infringement was not the intent. Sounds like censorship to me and it’s a bad idea.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled a critical Jan. 24 cloture vote on PIPA. And during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Reid showed no sign of backing down, though he did call for opposing sides to compromise. He says he’s concerned PIPA will break the Internet, but we must move forward with it, because of ‘Jobs’. The House effectively killed PIPA’s counterpart, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), today.
The White House has come out against the SOPA/PIPA bills stating that it will not support legislation that has the potential to censor unlawful activity or prohibit innovation and they will reject anything that involves DNS blocking.
Wikipedia is planning to go dark this Wednesday in protest of the PIPA Bill. Craigslist and WordPress have also voiced their disapproval of the Bill. I suggest that you should to.