The PROTECT-IP Act is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It is scheduled to go before the Senate on January 24, 2012. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he plans to bring it up on the first day the Senate is back in session.
It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the net, in the name of protecting “creativity”. The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites – they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.”
Rather than sit here and give you MY opinions, I want to refer you to external sources of verification so you can develop your own. For the record though, I believe this bill is the greatest threat to the Internet the world has ever seen.
- 130 Internet Founders Sign Letter Opposing PIPA
- Senator Wyden’s Call to Arms
- A Google Document List of SOPA/PIPA Supporters
- WordPress Official Position on SOPA/PIPA
These Bills Won’t Work!
I’m all for protection of copyrighted materials, I mean, I’ve written nearly 2,000 articles here on this very blog and I get frustrated when other sites blatantly mirror my content. But if you try and stop one, another will pop up instantly.
Mark my words, you’ll never stop piracy. NEVER! And, despite what uneducated executives and legislators think about the “losses”, even Bill Gates acknowledged that piracy isn’t all bad:
“Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, people don’t pay for the software. Someday they will, though,” Gates told an audience at the University of Washington. “And as long as they’re going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
The only thing that will happen with a law like this is that it will create a new “Alter-Net” where tools are developed to service a black market of hosting, information, and illegal activity. (And by the way, it already exists! We’ll just make it more powerful.)
What YOU Can Do to Help!
It’s so simple. You NEED to contact your congressperson, AND you need to help spread the word to let others do so as well. Remember, ALL of the members of the House who are supporting PIPA are up for re-election, and 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election.
Here is a list of congress people who are openly in support of this bill. (These are the people who are going to ruin the world as we know it.)
Congress Members Who Support PIPA
- Mark Amodei [NV2]
- Joe Baca [CA43]
- John Barrow [GA12]
- Karen Bass [CA33]
- Howard Berman [CA28]
- Marsha Blackburn [TN7]
- Mary Bono Mack [CA45]
- John Carter [TX31]
- Steven Chabot [OH1]
- Judy Chu [CA32]
- John Conyers [MI14]
- Jim Cooper [TN5]
- Ted Deutch [FL19]
- Elton Gallegly [CA24]
- Robert Goodlatte [VA6]
- Tim Griffin [AR2]
- Tim Holden [PA17]
- Peter King [NY3]
- John Larson [CT1]
- Ben Lujan [NM3]
- Thomas Marino [PA10]
- Alan Nunnelee [MS1]
- William Owens [NY23]
- Ben Quayle [AZ3]
- Dennis Ross [FL12]
- Steve Scalise [LA1]
- Adam Schiff [CA29]
- Brad Sherman [CA27]
- Lee Terry [NE2]
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz [FL20]
- Melvin Watt [NC12]
And here’s the list of Senators who are both supporters of PIPA and are up for re-election in 2012. Wikipedia lists who’s already registered to challenge them.
- Ben Cardin [Maryland]
- Bob Casey [Pennsylvania]
- Bob Corker [Tennessee]
- Dianne Feinstein [California]
- Kristen Gillibrand [New York]
- Orrin Hatch [Utah]
- Amy Klobuchar [Minnesota]
- Bob Menendez [New Jersey]
- Bill Nelson [Florida]
- Sheldon Whitehouse [Rhode Island]
You can see a list of people running against these folks in the Senate, and The House of Representatives in case you’d like to find out who to vote for in the next elections.
The Bottom Line
I can guarantee you that this bill will affect free speech on the Internet. Big companies with revenues to protect won’t stand up against it once its passed, they’ll comply with the law. Small sites who are willing to stand against it will be taken off line. It will create online wars, turn normal citizens into criminals, and destroy the Web as we know it. It is wrong. It must be stopped.
Man, I gotta tell you I’m glad this has been pulled from congress, and hopefully majorly overhauled before they even consider putting it to a vote again.
ALL of the members of the House who are supporting PIPA are up for re-election, and 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election.
…uh, fact check needed. actually, i can save you the time…. fact check REQUIRED!
(but the intention is good).