Protect IP Act & Stop Online Piracy Act seek to cripple Internet freedom & social media
Guest post by Markos Moulitsas
Big Pharma and the recording and movie industries are on the verge of passing a bill that could very well destroy the social web, including Daily Kos.
This is no hyperbole. Watch the video above. It is literally an existentialist threat for Daily Kos and any other site with user-generated content, from Facebook, to Reddit, to tumblr, Sound Cloud or YouTube.
This is the holy grail of the entertainment industry — to destroy the internet, and thus, destroy the biggest danger to their business.
While the entertainment industry already has outsized tools to fight piracy, they don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to send takedown notices to individual infringing sites. It’s hard work, going after YouTubes of dancing babies and stuff! And, of course, they don’t have jurisdiction over many foreign-based sites. So, if they can’t stomp out all piracy, plan B is to destroy the internet.
Democratic Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy is inexplicably leading the charge in the Senate with the Protect IP Act. Republican Texas Rep. Lamar Smith is leading the companion bill in the House with the Stop Online Piracy Act. This bill would’ve been rushed through with no debate through both chambers had it not been for the singular efforts of Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a true hero of grassroots media and the social web.
Wyden has put a hold on the bill in the Senate, and has promised a full filibuster. Currently, there appear to be 60 votes to overcome that filibuster, but the delaying tactics would tie up the Senate for a full week. And if it doesn’t pass this year, supporters have to start from scratch all over again next year — this time under the full glare of a spotlight. (Socialmedia.biz mentioned this issue in our coverage of the Web 2.0 Summit.)
Wyden is now being joined with Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington, Jerry Moran of Kansas (he’s a senator that exists) and Rand Paul of Kentucky (even a stopped clock …).
In the House, Nancy Pelosi has come out against the bill, which proves that this is not an ideological battle. And it shouldn’t be—no one outside Hollywood is served by destroying the internet. Social media has been key in the rise of both the tea party and the Occupy movements, as well as pro-democracy movements from the Ukraine to Egypt.
Both bills go to risky extremes, however, in their efforts to stop these sites from attracting an audience. Of the two, the House bill goes further down the wrong path, weakening protections for companies — including those based in the United States — that enable users to store, publish or sell goods online. The change could force such companies to monitor everything their users do, turning them into a private security force for copyright and trademark owners.
We’ll have more info soon on what you can do to help stop this atrocity. You can also go to AmericanCensorship.org to learn more about these bills, and what you can do to help stop them.
See the following graphic for why these two bills are so dangerous.
This post was republished from the Daily Kos.