Posts Tagged ‘PIPA’

PIPA and SOPA

19 January 2012

I’m glad that the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) has been withdrawn. I hope SOPA meets the same fate, and soon.

I support protection of IP. I produce IP in this blog. I don’t mind if my views are read and adopted by others, or adapted into other views, but I wouldn’t like it if someone took my views and put their own names on those views.

But PIPA was the functional equivalent of carpet bombing. It’s way easy to grab stuff off the Internet and use it. Rachel Maddow had four examples of people who support SOPA/PIPA, all US Senators or Representatives, who had images from the web being used for their Twitter feeds or websites. None had permission given, or attribution made. If the staff of a Senator can’t get it right, how would the rest of the country?

Making sites, like Google, or Facebook, or the like police for IP violations is not reasonable. It’s like expecting AT&T to listen to the content of every phone call, and make a judgement as to whether the content involves illegal activity.

Better to have targeted investigations of the worst offenders. I think that the issue isn’t things like photos anyway, it’s people selling or sharing music and videos. Let the content owners or their representatives (MPAA, for example) do the legwork, and then get the police involved. Just make sure that due process is followed, and that the punishments fit the offense.

I try to not be paranoid, but I wonder sometimes if the people who write these laws have an ulterior motive. The “Internet kill switch” I think has appeal to Those In Power. Legislation like SOPA and PIPA might be the slippery slope that gets us headed that direction.

The Internet has been very liberating in a lot of ways. It is designed to make sharing easy. If sharing is easy, then things will shared. A government should not be in the business of trying to stop the sharing of legal stuff, whether it be data or ideas.

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