Friday, December 30, 2011

Stop Online Piracy Act - SOPA - #3531 - SOPA Opponents May Go Nuclear - CNet (2) How Would SOPA Affect You - CNet

The Internet's most popular destinations, including eBay, Google, Facebook, and Twitter seem to view Hollywood-backed copyright legislation as an existential threat.  It was Google co-founder Sergey Brin who warned that the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act "would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world." Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman argue that the bills give the Feds unacceptable "power to censor the Web."  But these companies have yet to roll out the heavy artillery.  When the home pages of Google.com, Amazon.com, Facebook.com, and their Internet allies simultaneously turn black with anti-censorship warnings that ask users to contact politicians about a vote in the U.S. Congress the next day on SOPA, you'll know they're finally serious.  True, it would be the political equivalent of a nuclear option--possibly drawing retributions from the the influential politicos backing SOPA and Protect IP--but one that could nevertheless be launched in 2012........And it would be effective. A note popping up on the screens of people living in the mostly rural Texas district of SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favorite Republican, asking them to call or write and voice their displeasure, would be noticed. If Tumblr could generate nearly 90,000 calls on its own, think of what companies with hundreds of millions of users could do.  If these Web companies believe what their executives say (PDF) about SOPA and Protect IP, they'll let their users know what their elected representatives are contemplating. A Senate floor debate scheduled for January 24, 2012 would be an obvious starting point.  "The reason it hasn't happened is because of the sensitivity," says Erickson, "even when it's a policy issue that benefits their users." He adds: It may happen."  Or it may not. It would change politics if it did.  Read more........

How Would SOPA Affect You - CNet - When Rep. Lamar Smith announced the Stop Online Piracy Act in late October, he knew it was going to be controversial.  But the Texas Republican probably never anticipated the broad and fierce outcry from Internet users that SOPA provoked over the last few months. It was a show of public opposition to Internet-related legislation not seen since the 2003 political wrangling over implanting copy-protection technology in PCs, or perhaps even the blue ribbons appearing on Web sites in the mid-1990s in response to the Communications Decency Act.  Read more........

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