November 29, 2011

Congress coming close to destroying the Internet

Protect IP Act & Stop Online Piracy Act seek to cripple Internet freedom & social media

Guest post by Markos Moulitsas
Daily Kos

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.) Continue reading