Well, this is all over the news today and for good reason. This site and about a million others would fade away in a record sweep by the American Congress. Early rumors are that it is not going to pass despite a large corporate backing. It shouldn’t pass either. The people are pissed off enough already and now this? Keep the internet free.
PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. 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.”
The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year — that’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.”
A coworker sent news of this to me this morning and I was shocked. Apparently a bill is pending in Congress that would virtually strip all rights to creative works from artists, designers, musicians, you name it. The bill has been referred to as the ‘end of copyright’. Currently and since 1976, in order to be more compatible with international copyright laws, if you have created something you do not have to pay to protect it. It is automatically considered so. Under this new bill apparently, this would change, whereas if you wanted your work legally protected, you would have to pay to do so. If you could not pay or afford to pay, then your work would be up for grabs by (most likely) people with more money than you. Nothing you create would be protected and putting anything online would be placing your work directly in harms way. You would have to pay to own your own work or that work would be deemed an ‘orphan’ and available for use by anyone willing to pay the government the right to license. The scariest part is that this also encompasses anything you release online, which for many of us is our best work because we use the internet to promote ourselves to potential employers and contractors.
The legislation was introduced about 3 years ago and, rightly so, has been difficult to pass. The bill is being reviewed today and could pass very soon. My question is how do bills like this even get introduced into legislation when they fly in the face of working Americans? How broken is our system?