Hollywood’s latest effort to control the InternetNovember 3rd, 2011
So broad are the powers afforded in the bills that Rep. Zoe Lofgren said, “I’m still reviewing the legislation, but from what I’ve already read, this would mean the end of the Internet as we know it.”
PIPA and SOPA, also known as the “E-Parasite Act,” were called “disastrous” by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (love them!) who said it was, “the worst piece of IP legislation we’ve seen in the last decade.” The bills would effectively create a blacklist of entire Internet domains suspected of intellectual property violations turning off thousands of underlying websites that may not have anything to do with the suspicious activity. The bills put pressure on service providers to police their users’ activities, and also requires that search engines, online payment sites and advertising services facilitate the shutting down of blacklisted websites. If these bills become law the holder of a copyright will effectively be able to shut down any website by cutting off access to it’s domain name, its search engine hits, its ads and its financing even if no judge has found the website’s owner guilty of any actual crime.
Of course they are getting support from film and music companies who claim these “rogue websites” are dangerous to their business model, never considering that their business model might be obsolete and the rogues might have it right. The fact of the matter is that the Internet is a thriving marketplace of digital content and the rogues have already won the day. Bills like this can only stifle innovation, competition and ultimately investment in web entertainment. But hey, who cares? Hollywood wants a monopoly and monopolies don’t need to innovate. Ever wonder why half the movies out in the last 10 years were either remakes of old movies or based on comic books? Hollywood has run out of stories. They’re even remaking Footloose now.
PIPA and SOPA are horse-and-buggy legislation in a 90mph world designed only to shield movie and recording industries from any pressure to get with the times. The Internet is revolutionizing the world, from matchmaking fringe enthusiasts to toppling authoritarian regimes, and it’s doing it without nanny-state regulations. The power of the Internet is the radical freedom it offers, which it seems the primitive psychoclass finds hard to tolerate.
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