Local Tech Repair: US Internet Censorship - Protect IP and COICA Internet censorship

Sunday, November 13, 2011

US Internet Censorship - Protect IP and COICA Internet censorship

Internet censorship is something that we see in china and other communist states and in movies and books like 1984 and v for vendetta. Censorship is not something that a free person should like or even ever want to go near. Though to many times governments and companies use fear tactics so that you feel either afraid or guilty for not giving up your freedom.

In the name of protecting you from frauds or protecting jobs. The music and movie industry are moving to try to get the government to do their jobs so that they can save money. Let me tell you right off the bat. I am very pro business and very much a capitalist. Though that does not mean I don't come out against bad practices of companies that try to buy the government or people like the music and movie industries have for a long time. But I do understand why they do it (so they can make more money).

For those that don't know what these legislations are here is a quick read.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protect_IP_Act
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combating_Online_Infringement_and_Counterfeits_Act

Lets look at what the sides are saying.

movie and music industry are saying that these bills would save jobs by shutting down other countries sites that could be illegally selling their goods and costing them money that could be going to more movies and more music and etc.

That the current laws have been watered down by the courts and that it is costing them lots of money defending their intellectual property. The most recent example they point to is Viacom vs Google's YouTube service. They say the courts made the wrong decision by not holding YouTube responsible for what its users were doing.

Next is that the laws are becoming out dated and need to be updated so that it is easier on them to protect their property. They point to the current DMCA problem as when they point out infringing and lets say it is a youtube video that when youtube takes it down another pops right up. So sense google is following the law and doing what the law says they are annoyed that they have to keep watching all the different sites around the web and they can't just hold the website responsible for what their users are doing.


there is a little video from the opposition:

PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.


The opposition of this are major internet companies which makes sense sense they will be the ones that will be being charged with enforcing these rules and also be the ones that will most be hurt by them either by lawsuits or taken off line.

So lets look at what this bill really does. This bill will shut down illegal website though it will also shut down many legal websites sense there is no way for bing or youtube to know what things are legally uploaded and which are not. This means sense they will be held responsible for what their users upload to their sites they will be as Draconian as possible to protect them selves. Though in doing so also killing their business.

Though won't this protect the entertainment industry? No just like Digital Rights Management(DRM) those that copy and steal still are able to and find ways around it. For instance they may block the name thepiratebay.org but those that are going to pirate will just use a proxy out side of the US to download the files and go ahead and download the stuff anyways or they will just go to the IP address for the website instead of the domain name. This does nothing to stop people from stealing other than hurt legitimate businesses. Just like DRM only hurts legitimate customers when pirates have the game cracked before the game even comes out to people. Example Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was cracked a half a day before it even came out.

This means that sense the entertainment industry can't force other countries to change their laws and do things how they like to then they try to put sanctions on those countries that don't play by their rules. If you believe anything in other countries sovereignty then you should be against this bill. Sense The Internet has no borders when it comes to information. You can easily go to a Chinese website with out having to get a passport.

Places like this blog may even shut down just because i linked to a site that could be used for pirated stuff.

But beyond the law it self which sounds noble. we have to ask different questions

who will determine what sites are even illegal or not. How this bill will work out is the entertainment industry will use their lobby groups to get the ear of people in government so that they can easily just shut down sites that have copy infringing information on them with out any due process. changing the process of innocent till proven guilty to guilty till you prove your innocents which could kill your business in the mean time. Sense copy right cases takes years to finish in the US. Can you imagine Google disappearing from the internet for a year or 2 before they come back online. how would that effect their business let alone a start up.

Next thing is will this protect small inventors from their information from being stolen? can you imagine a small business going up to the government enforcers and telling them that maybe apple stole some of their code in their new iphone and sense they are selling infringing information on their website that the government now needs to shut down apple.com. I don't think this will help any small business inventors or any of the major job creators in this country.

These bills are not going to protect everyones copy rights but only the few and rich.

If you feel that these laws over stretch their bounds and want to speak out against them stand strong
This website has an easy way to email your Representatives with out you having to do much.
https://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8173
for more information and better email system
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/show

If you don't get involved then you will loss your own freedoms and rights.