Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stopping online piracy or stifling the internet, you decide.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) recently introduced of the Stop Online Piracy Act in the US House of Representatives. It sounds great, at least it does until you actually read some of the provisions in it.

 Without ever appearing before a judge or setting foot in a courtroom the owner of copyrighted material could shut down any website's online advertising programs and block access to credit card payments. The police can’t search your house without a warrant from a judge but a company can stop you from earning a living just by filing a document with the Clerk of Court.

Under this ridiculously broad bill, you can be found in violation if the core functionality of your site "enables or facilitates" infringement. Bye bye YouTube, so long Flickr and Shutterfly or any website that allows users to post text, photos or video. That means this newspaper’s website too my friends. Heck the entire internet enables or facilitates infringement.

Is this really the road we want to be on, do we really want just anyone to be able to shutdown nearly any website on a whim?


  1. I'm going with no, although I think a sensible piracy bill might be good.

  2. Published in the NB Herald-Zeitung 11/26/11

  3. Watched some legislators arguing their case on the floor. It is easy to tell the ones had no thoughts of their own. Read their 'speech', lost their place on the page when they looked up & stumbled over words while reading. It was all too apparent that they were merely reading prepared statements which had been provided to them.Likely provided by lobbyists.

    Too many legislators seem to have no thoughts on the issues they will vote on other that sound bytes, if that much, Their staffers are unable to provide information from the legislators offices, at least the ones I've visited.Shameful. Inexcuseable.

    They need to be turffed, the lot of them.Forthwith.