The battle between Silicon Valley and Hollywood took a stunning twist as U.S. lawmakers ‘stopped’ the SOPA – Stop Online Piracy ACT
The bills known as PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House, are aimed at curbing access to overseas websites that traffic in pirated content and counterfeit products, such as movies and music.
The unfortunate aspect of these bills, would be the vulnerability of businesses on the Internet to litigation. Where would they draw the line between legal activity and free speech vs the claws of such laws?
Perhaps the biggest issue here is politicians creating laws that would harm the very people they would be out to protect. Their lack of knowledge about how the net works was not in their favor in garnering support.
Look out for ACTA~
It ain’t over till its over folks and this battle already has tweaks that will take your breath away.
ACTA -the International Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement often considered more a Treaty, was signed on October 1, 2011 by President Obama, effectively ratifying it on behalf of the States.
What is interesting here, is the Congress, who normally have to give their support before the President can sign, were by-passed. This treaty is not a law, nor is it a bill or an act like SOPA or PIPA that can be followed or broken by a person. Only a country can break the treaty.
How do you arrest a country? Underneath the complexity of this ‘treaty’ is the pressure that would be put on ISPs to monitor the use of the Internet preventing the distribution of unauthorized material.
The bottom line is ACTA provides governments, world wide, a kind of support mechanism should they allow rights holders to seek personal data from ISPs – ‘allow‘ is a big word that bandies ‘must’ and ‘shall’ as government excuses to do so.
Are we back at SOPA and PIPA without having to make them laws? Does ACTA open doors on copyright infringement a lot deeper with a broader range infringement of yours and my privacy rights or our rights to ‘fair use‘ of copyright materials?
Whatever the case, don’t close the books on piracy laws or the possibility you can continue to pirate music and movies at will.
There is a comeuppance in store for all who do this and you may not appreciate the consequences anymore than you appreciate the attempts to reign you in under malformed law.
However you look at this situation, there is trouble ahead for ISPs and users.
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