Tech and Media Companies Spar Over SOPA

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CONGRESSMAN COURTNEY (CT-2) urges Congress to throw out SOPA, Wikipedia, Google and other prominent websites protest the proposed legislation with blackouts and statements, FOX News says those who oppose SOPA and PIPA didn’t read the bill.

CHECK OUT a few different angles on these two controversial bills, which aim to clear the internet of copyright infringement.

FOX News on SOPA & PIPA: “Online piracy from China and elsewhere is a massive problem for the media industry, one that costs as much as $250 billion per year and costs the industry 750,000 jobs, according to a 2008 statement by Patrick Leahy, D-Vt…”

CNN on SOPA & PIPA: In general, media companies have united in favor of [the bills], while tech’s big names are throwing their might into opposing them.

Read more.

 


 

CONGRESSMAN COURTNEY (CT-2) urges Congress to throw out SOPA, Wikipedia, Google and other prominent websites protest the proposed legislation with blackouts and statements, FOX News says those who oppose SOPA and PIPA didn’t read the bill.

CHECK OUT a few different angles on these two controversial bills, which aim to clear the internet of copyright infringement.

WASHINGTON, DC– Congressman Joe Courtney released the following statement yesterday urging Congress to scrap the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and begin work on a new approach to addressing online piracy:

“Online piracy is a serious problem that must be addressed, but doing so should not muzzle free speech, stifle innovation or harm cybersecurity. SOPA as it exists today fails that standard, and it should be scrapped entirely. An axe instead of a scalpel, this bill would unacceptably and fundamentally change the architecture of the internet. The Judiciary Committee should start from scratch and craft a solution that ensures due process from a public entity that resolves infringement issues.

“Over the weekend, the White House urged content creators and internet platform providers to work together on voluntary measures that would reduce online piracy. That is a good start, but I encourage them to include consumers in the discussion as well. Over the past several weeks I have heard from thousands of constituents who are deeply concerned about the bill’s approach and the speed at which this process is moving forward. Grassroots activists across the country voiced serious concern with SOPA. Ensuring that their voices are heard from square one will ensure that a viable approach to addressing online piracy emerges in the end.”

 

 

FOX News on SOPA & PIPA: “Simply put, S. 968 and H.R. 3261 would require ISPs to block access to foreign websites that infringe on copyrights. Online piracy from China and elsewhere is a massive problem for the media industry, one that costs as much as $250 billion per year and costs the industry 750,000 jobs, according to a 2008 statement by Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. But how exactly the bills would counter piracy has many up in arms.”

Read more.

CNN on SOPA & PIPA: “The controversial pair of bills, SOPA and PIPA, have sparked an all-out war between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. In general, media companies have united in favor of them, while tech’s big names are throwing their might into opposing them.

SOPA’s supporters — which include CNNMoney parent company Time Warner (TWX, Fortune 500), plus groups such as the Motion Picture Association of America — say that online piracy leads to U.S. job losses because it deprives content creators of income.”

Read more.

“PIPA…SOPA…DRAMA:
from For Beginners

When Internet heavyweights such as Wikipedia, Reddit and Google start censoring themselves, they are representing the millions of online users in this nation.

The internet is one of the most robust and prominent job creators this nation has at the moment. It has been the back bone of revolutions in Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and many more by enabling communication with everyday people like ourselves around the world. Congress, however, has proposed a couple of bills that could jeopardize the very existence of the internet as we know it.  The bills are a proposition to protect the entertainment industry from rampant copyright infringements that can be found in every corner if the internet. The bills are called Protect-IP Act and Stop Online Piracy Act, PIPA and SOPA for short.

Here is a breakdown on how these two bills will operate. Corporations want to have the ability to shut down and remove illicit sites where consumers download and share movies, music, video games and software without paying for them. Most of these sites, however, are based out of the jurisdiction of the United States. Protect-IP will combat this problem by giving government the authorization to have US based internet service providers to block access to infringing domain names. They may also have the option to sue websites that have links to these sites. That means search engines, blogs and directories can all be target by these corporations. The bill also gives the government the ability to cut off funds to infringing websites by cancelling the accounts of US based payment services and advertisers.

The bill however has been loosely written that it can be a threat to the existence of every website on the internet. The ability to sue any website that a corporation feels is not filtering the illicit sites well enough can mean the end to websites such as Tumbler, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, heck, even For Beginners! The bill would give government a powerful tool to hinder freedoms granted under the Constitution and protected by our servicemen and women alike.

The internet as it is today is a medium where people and cultures can connect for the greater good of humanity. Having the government meddle with this structure for the sakes of a few extra songs downloaded on iTunes or for boosted sales on a ridiculously overpriced movie ticket. This needs to stop. Already we are seeing a glimpse of what could happen if such a bill is passed.  Just a week ago, the owner/creator of a popular file sharing site TVShack could be extradited to the US so he can be tried for copyright infringement. If he is found guilty he can face five to ten years in federal prison for simply providing links to other websites that hosted pirated content.

But when all hope is lost, the common man and woman can rise up to save the day. How you may ask? By calling up, emailing, Twittering or leaving a Facebook message on your representative’s page and expressing how you feel about the proposed bill.

Here in Connecticut, both Sen. Liberman (I) and Sen. Blumenthal (D) are both co-sponsors of this bill. These senators have also received hefty amounts of money to fund their campaigns. Sen. Blumenthal received $154,066 from the entertainment industry while Sen. Lieberman received $4,800. It’s a no brainer why they would be in favor of this legislation. But being the freedom-loving American that I am, I have already contacted my senators regarding this bill and demanded they reconsider their support for the bill.  They’ll get as far as we let them folks.

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