In case you have not heard the great news, the internet may soon undergo changes which would effectively give control to major corporations. This happy event can be summed up with one acronym (because there’s always an acronym isn’t there?) S.O.P.A.
The Stop Online Piracy Act is being touted by “those who know better than you” as an effective measure in the fight against internet piracy and illegal downloading. What it REALLY is…. will have you singing corporate jingles to your children at night, will see to it that only “sanctioned” versions of art and history will be made public. S.O.P.A. will have you bowing your heads in prayer… to Mickey Mouse (and his wholly owned subsidiaries)..
On the surface, the protection of intellectual property that the S.O.P.A. bill is promising sounds…, well…, promising! The catch, however is who will be blamed once an infringement takes place. According to the latest Wikipedia update (as of this writing) “Rights-holders see intermediaries… as the only accessible defendants”. This means the people who actually create illegal uploads may be LIABLE, but their ISPs and hosting services will be held RESPONSIBLE.
Next time Prince’s attorney sees a baby on YouTube singing “Purple Rain” and decides that Heads MUST Roll… Not only can he seek removal of said content. With the new legislation he can also assess… “damages”; because they now have a culprit with deep enough pockets to get something out of it! After Comcast and Google are made to pay money in court because of your irresponsible use of Prince’s intellectual property, do you think their next course of action will be to simply suspend your YouTube account? Even for LINKING to it you could ultimately be imprisoned for up to 5 years.
DNS Blocking was another amusing aspect of the bill. That is essentially the “blacklisting” of a website… (usually done if spyware is found), but under the bill, allegations of “piracy” could land your site on the list. A DNS blocking is easy enough to get around, but authors of S.O.P.A. were seeking to make it illegal to do so. Ultimately that measure was stricken from the bill. I am quite sure that was strategic, so we gladly accept what’s left. Regardless, it does show you exactly how far lawmakers are willing to take things.
I have a theory that no politician is to be trusted, but the corporate slave, lackey responsible for introducing this handy piece of legislature is Congressman Lamar Smith – (R) Texas. He has plenty of support from the Democratic side as well, lest you think they can do no wrong. The bill is actually an extension of the Protect IP Act (PIPA) brought to you by Senator Patrick Leahy – (D) of Vermont. If you would at least like to read the Wikipedia entry on the bill, this is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act
Those of you who would like to read the bill summary in its entirety: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.3261:
Recently in the way of evil acronyms… President Obama passed the National Defense Authorization Act (N.D.A.A.), which comes up for review every fiscal year. This year’s version however, included a clause that allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone SUSPECTED of being a terrorist. Further it makes no provisions against the torture of said suspects.
Obama’s signing statement: “I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed…I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”
In other words “Someone’s got me by the balls” .
During the medieval dark ages, there was an unholy alignment with CHURCH and STATE, which allowed for interesting measures to be taken… (like The Spanish Inquisition) to ensure the public cooperated with “The Powers That Be”. The modern-day dark ages are being ushered in due to an alignment with CORPORATIONS and STATE. We have entered an era of Neo-Fascism, the likes of which the world has never seen. Of course NOW there is widespread protest; (http://sopastrike.com) but once the information is controlled by the right people… we’ll be singing their praises.