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A great many big internet sites are blackout today. In protest of a law in Congress that could be devastating for free speech and easy information access. It’s called Stop Online Piracy Act.
While stopping piracy in and of itself would be a good thing for creatives such as artists and musicians and writers, the bill as it is currently worded gives far too much power to big business and big government to flip the off switch on sites with content they object to. Anyone can claim a site is infringing copyrighted work and have the site shut down.
The problem with piracy is that it is world-wide and not something a bill in the USA government can control. Many of the worst offenders are over seas, and not under the jurisdiction of our laws. The bill would punish tertiary sites linking to such content by shutting them down as well.
There are (as with all legislation) people on both sides of the fence on having this legislation passed.
The internet being what it is, there are rumors galore on what this bill will and won’t do.
As a creator, it is in my best interest to see piracy defeated. I do not think the scope of this bill will stop people trying to profit off other people’s’ creative efforts by grabbing copyrighted works for their own commercial use. The worst offenders will find other ways around legislation as vague as this bill is. The ones who lose, as usual will be the small business person, the freelance artist, the independent musician and the people with unpopular or fringe viewpoints they wish to express.
Copyright law is broken within cyber-space and legislation to shutter the internet will not fix it. Censorship is wrong, even if the thought behind it is well-meant.
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