Stop Online Piracy Act Committee Vote Put Off Till Wednesday

If you aren’t familiar with the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), here’s a basic premise

(NBC Bay Area) It could require Internet providers to monitor customers’ traffic and block websites suspected of copyright infringement.

I’d recommend reading that entire article, and this one, and even watching the video at ZDNet (it’s about 20 minutes long). Who is behind it?

(ZDnet) I want you to remember these names: Lamar Smith, Joe Baca, Howard Berman, Marsha Blackburn, Mary Bono Mack, John Carter, Steven Chabot, John Conyers, Jim Cooper, Elton Gallegly, Robert Goodlatte, Tim Holden, Peter King, John Larson, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Lee Terry, Melvin Watt, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, John Barrow, Steve Scalise, Ben Luján, Judy Chu, William Owens, Karen Bass, Ted Deutch, Ben Quayle, Tim Griffin, Dennis Ross, Alan Nunnelee, Thomas Marino, and Mark Amodei.

These congress-critters are the sponsors of the completely unacceptable Stop Online Piracy Act, otherwise known as SOPA. If SOPA manages to pass (and the Internet is effectively gutted), these are the people to blame.

The sad part is that these people are representing the entertainment industry’s interest for chump change. According to a report by the Knight-Batten Award-winning nonprofit MAPLight, the 32 sponsors of the bill received just under $2 million in campaign contributions from the movie, music, and TV entertainment industries.

Those are the people, representative of both Parties, who are playing with fire, and have managed to unite Conservatives, liberals, libertarians, progressives, Democrats, and Republicans in trying to stop this horrendous bit of legislation. The committee vote has been postponed

(CBS News) A controversial measure aimed at stopping online privacy that critics contend would kill the Internet as we know it hit a minor snag on Friday, when a key backer delayed a vote on the measure until next week.

Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, decided against holding a committee vote that had been expected on Friday. The panel later scheduled a vote for Wednesday, December 21.

Hit the phones, people. Their numbers are available at Congress Merge. You can also stop by their offices (peacefully) if you are in their districts or in D.C. Call your own Critters, tell them this is a Bad Idea.

SOPA would give the Justice Department the power to shut down so-called “rogue” offshore web sites that sell pirated materials on the Internet, including music, movies and pharmaceuticals. The major Hollywood studios and media organizations, support the legislation. If the bill makes it through the committee, it would still have to pass the full House of Representatives and the Senate before it would go to President Obama’s desk.

As written, it’s not simply offshore websites, it would hit domestic sites as well. The question is “would they?” Under the terms, a Hollywood studio could ask the DOJ to shut down Youtube if a user uploaded copyrighted material. I have several videos which could get Youtube shut down, including a snippet from A Charlie Brown Christmas (I was the first to upload anything from the show, back to the old and shut down MSN Soapbox. Yeah, me!) That is the unintended consequences of SOPA.

In fact, simply by posting the above excerpts, I could get my site, Right Wing News, and Stop The ACLU (because of the cross-posts. You’re welcome, John and Jay) shut down. Too many in Congress think they Know Better Than Anyone Else, but, take their legislation too far. And, as Tina Korbe points out

As this Cynical Brit who has introduced hundreds of thousands of viewers to the dangers of SOPA put it, the way to beat piraters is to provide better service than they do – to make it a better consumer experience to legally view or use copyrighted material than to illegally view or use copyrighted material.

She states that SOPA is not about piracy: it’s about censorship. And she’s right.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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