Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Stop Online Piracy Act

Yeah, I'm sure you've heard plenty of outraged responses and scary proclamations about the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) currently before the House Judicial Committee. So I'm not even going to editorialize about it at all; just providing a link to the bill itself is enough. Specifically, read this except of the summary:
Authorizes the Attorney General (AG) to seek a court order against a U.S.-directed foreign Internet site committing or facilitating online piracy to require the owner, operator, or domain name registrant, or the site or domain name itself if such persons are unable to be found, to cease and desist further activities constituting specified intellectual property offenses under the federal criminal code including criminal copyright infringement, unauthorized fixation and trafficking of sound recordings or videos of live musical performances, the recording of exhibited motion pictures, or trafficking in counterfeit labels, goods, or services. Sets forth an additional two-step process that allows an intellectual property right holder harmed by a U.S.-directed site dedicated to infringement, or a site promoted or used for infringement under certain circumstances, to first provide a written notification identifying the site to related payment network providers and Internet advertising services requiring such entities to forward the notification and suspend their services to such an identified site unless the site's owner, operator, or domain name registrant, upon receiving the forwarded notification, provides a counter notification explaining that it is not dedicated to engaging in specified violations. Authorizes the right holder to then commence an action for limited injunctive relief against the owner, operator, or domain name registrant, or against the site or domain name itself if such persons are unable to be found, if: (1) such a counter notification is provided (and, if it is a foreign site, includes consent to U.S. jurisdiction to adjudicate whether the site is dedicated to such violations), or (2) a payment network provider or Internet advertising service fails to suspend its services in the absence of such a counter notification.
I have serious doubts that this bill will pass, contrary to what many commentators would have you believe, as information about the effect it would have in the Internet is being widely circulated. But if it does, mark my words: I will boycott the internet until it is repealed. Yep. Unplug my desktop's connection and switch off my laptop's wireless adapter. A free internet or none.

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