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Wednesday07 December 2022

New SOPA act could by-pass Net Neutrality Laws


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73There are times when I read about something on the Internet and I have to stop and wonder if the site reporting on the item has gotten something wrong. As an example I recently read about a new act called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). According to the article on TorrentFreak.com this new act will allow corporations the ability to shut down websites by submitting a complaint to the sites host. Now I thought that this sounded unlikely so I looked into the act and found out that it is even more disturbing that what TorrentFreak posted.

It turns out that the bill is a revision of one what was first presented in the Senate call the “Protect IP Act”. This revision was supposed to correct issues with that first bill and instead has only succeeded in extending them and making them more vague. For example in the bill it uses the verbiage that includes any site or “portion of” a site that is "dedicated to theft of U.S. property," this is a very broad category that has no clear definition. For example if someone posts a YouTube video with copyrighted music in the background, is that theft? What about a cover of a song where the music and lyrics were legally purchased?  These two “violations” could get the offending website cut off from payment provides (PayPal), advertisers (advertisers Google Adsense etc.), and get the site completely shut down.

To make matters worse the shutdown order would not go to the site owner, but directly to the Payment providers, advertisers, and ISPs for the host of the site (or if the owners host it themselves their ISP). The The ISPs, advertisers and payment providers must comply to the complaint or they face fines. The site owner does not get notification from the complaint, they just get shut down. To add insult to injury the site owner has limited rights to appeal the complaint before or after they have the rug pulled out from under them.  

This new legislation is an abomination and nothing more than an attempt to grant corporations (not just the media) license to shut down any site that offends them. To give you an example of what can happen if this bill is allowed to go through, let’s say that a site writes up an article criticizing a company for a product and uses images of the packaging or quotes from their website in the review. Under this new act that company who holds copyright over the logo’s and the wording on the website could send a complaint to the site’s host, advertisers and payment providers and get them locked out.  This type of heavy handed control over the internet is simply terrifying.

To combat this most of the consumer advocacy groups have challenged the bill and congress men and women from both sides of the fence have spoken out about this. There is also an American Censorship Day planned. The Fight For the Future Organization is asking web sites to post a snipet of code to their websites on November 16th the code will pop-up with a fake seizure notice that will explain the new bill and how each user can act to contact their congress person to try and get this bill stopped now.



We will be participating in this and urge all of you to help out with this as this act is about more than copyrighted content. It is about control of the content on the internet.

Source TorrentFreak

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Last modified on Friday, 11 November 2011 19:54

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