As a blogger, I’m concerned by the implications of bills like SOPA and the Senate version PIPA. As someone with a legal background, I’m even more alarmed that they might become law.
Copyright infringement is wrong — but so are overreaching laws that don’t give a damn about due process. Under SOPA, IP rights holders can proceed vigilante-style against allegedly offending sites, without any court hearing or any judicial intervention or oversight whatsoever. A “good faith belief” that an identified Internet site is “primarily designed or operated for the purpose of” infringement would be enough to initiate the process of blocking access to that particular site. Are we really going to let the government block websites based on a “good faith belief”?
This quote summarizes my feelings on the subject: “Copyright and trademark infringement on the Internet is a very real problem, and reasonable proposals to augment the ample array of enforcement powers already at the disposal of IP rights holders and law enforcement officials may serve the public interest. But the power to break the Internet shouldn’t be among them.” – Stanford Law Review
Addicted to the internet like I am? You should care about stopping SOPA and PIPA. Don’t let the big media companies buy the legalization of censorship. Contact Congress now. Check to see if your congressperson is a cosponsor of SOPA or of PIPA.