AfterDawn: Tech news

Over 100 law professors protest SOPA / E-PARASITE bill

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 16 Nov 2011 11:05 User comments (18)

Over 100 law professors protest SOPA / E-PARASITE bill More than 100 noted US law professors have signed an open letter to the US House of Representatives protesting the SOPA bill (formerly E-PARASITE) which would, among other things, elminate nearly all the safe harbor protections afforded by service providers by the DMCA.
The letter highlights the same problems many people have already pointed out. In a summary of the letter, they say SOPA will:

  • Redefine the standard for copyright infringement on the Internet, changing the definition of inducement in a! way that would not only conflict with Supreme Court precedent but would make YouTube, Google, and numerous other web sites liable for copyright infringement.
  • Allow the government to block Internet access to any web site that "facilitated" copyright or trademark infringement - a term that the Department of Justice currently interprets to require nothing more than having a link on a web page to another site that turns out to be infringing.
  • Allow any private copyright or trademark owner to interfere with the ability of web sites to host advertising or charge purchases to credit cards, putting enormous obstacles in the path of electronic commerce.


It lists specific problems the professors have with the law, including an apparent conflict with the US Constitution:

Suppressing speech without notice and a proper hearing: The Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that governmental action to suppress speech taken prior to "a prompt final judicial decision ... in an adversary proceeding" that the speech is a presumptively unconstitutional "prior restraint," the "most serious and least tolerable infringement on First Amdendment rights," permissible only in the narrowest range of circumstances. The Constitution "require[s] a court, before material is completely removed from circulation, ... to make a final determination that material is [unlawful] after an adversary hearing."


They also express concern that SOPA would effectively break the framework of the Internet and stifle innovation:

Breaking the Internet's infrastructure: If the government uses the power to demand that individual Internet service providers make individual, country-specific decisions about who can find what on the Internet, the interconnection principle at the very heart of the Internet is at risk.

...Moreover, the practical effect of the Act would be to kill innovation by new technology companies in the media space. Anyone who starts such a company is at risk of having their source of customers and revenue - indeed, their website itself - disappear at a moment's notice.


Finally, they say it would be a black eye for the US in terms of supporting freedom around the world:

Undermining United States' leadership in supporting and defending free speech and the free exchange of information on the Internet: The Act represents a retreat from the United States' strong support of freedom of expression and the free exchange of information and ideas on the Internet. At a time when many foreign governments have dramatically stepped up their efforts to censor Internet communications, the Act would incorporate into U.S. law - for the first time - a principle more closely associated with those repressive regimes: a right to insist on the removal of content from the global Internet, regardless of where it may have originated or be located, in service of the exigencies of domestic law.


Read the full text of the letter:

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18 user comments

116.11.2011 12:03

They are blocking the competition to the bill from testifying; the debate will be between the supporters and the other supporters...I wonder what will happen :(

216.11.2011 12:58

Either way 100 protesters regardless of profession isn't enough.

316.11.2011 13:05

Originally posted by Mysttic:
Either way 100 protesters regardless of profession isn't enough.
It's also not the extent of the opposition. When I talked to some folks from the Internet Systems Consortium a while back (about PROTECT IP), they said they were participating in a significant lobbying effort which involved meeting one-on-one with Senators to explain the bill. I'd be willing to bet they're doing the same with SOPA.

There is also a growing resistance among the mainstream media, including folks who work in the publishing divisions of companies pushing the bill. And opposition in the House seems to be growing as well.

I'm not saying the fight is won, or even close, at this point. But the picture isn't anywhere near as bleak as it was just a short time ago.

At the very least, this letter will provide the other people working against SOPA more ammunition, which is vital to counteract the disinformation campaign being waged to promote the bill.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Nov 2011 @ 13:07

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

416.11.2011 13:36

God I hate to be one of those people but HOW DOES THIS CREATE JOBS?


Just my $0.02,

dEwMe

516.11.2011 15:03

Originally posted by dEwMe:
God I hate to be one of those people but HOW DOES THIS CREATE JOBS?

That's Ironic if you think about it,were in a crisis to make Jobs and this Bill completely destroys them.

Also I heard the Justice Department with this Bill want to make it where violating a ToS is not only breaking the Law but also Racketeering...if this bill passes it'll send us back to the stone age

616.11.2011 15:18

Originally posted by dEwMe:
God I hate to be one of those people but HOW DOES THIS CREATE JOBS?

But think of the copyright lawyers!

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

716.11.2011 16:20

Quote:
At the very least, this letter will provide the other people working against SOPA more ammunition, which is vital to counteract the disinformation campaign being waged to promote the bill.
Agreed, and thanks for the other info as well. Time will tell how well this works. It worked in Canada recently over the Usage Base Billing bill being dismantled.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Nov 2011 @ 16:20

917.11.2011 5:03

This is a prime example of why we need a democracy. The people would vote this crap down quickly, but instead we have a bunch of corrupt bastards doing whatever they have been bribed to do, regardless of public opinion, logic, or even theoretical possibility.



1017.11.2011 16:24

This country that I live in F'ing SUCKS! Draconian, Stalinistic and these "law makers" are begging to be publicly executed. I will throw the first stone as soon as an overthrow takes place.

1118.11.2011 11:44
Parker W.
Unverified new user

Ive been trying to find this source... What is it? If theirs no source then I cant take this seriously or take this site as reputable.

1218.11.2011 11:47
Parker W.
Unverified new user

Found it.
>>Implying you need how to learn standard MLA incite citations...
cdt.org/files/pdfs/SOPA_House_letter_with_PROTECT_IP_letter_FINAL.pdf

1318.11.2011 12:27

Originally posted by Parker W.:
Ive been trying to find this source... What is it? If theirs no source then I cant take this seriously or take this site as reputable.
You're absolutely correct. It was an oversight on my part. I've embedded the full letter now.

Thanks for pointing it out!

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1418.11.2011 14:43

Yes, this is corruption at work.

1521.11.2011 18:26

The government is not our friend in any way , Our founding four fathers saw this first hand and that is why they wrote it down and signed it into law , knowing that when you give power to a person or a body of people they can be moved to make decisions in their best interests , not in the best interests for the people whom they govern over !!! It was said long ago ( power corupts people and greed is always the cause of it ) With that in mind remember that our government pays nothing into the system and only takes from it , they pay no health care , social security , and have the biggest retirement plans ,, but they want to pass a law that would fine you if you do not buy into it !!! When we were kids and we bought a new album or tape and a friend wanted to hear or watch it we would loan it to them ,,, the laws are wrong about copy protection issues ,,, once I own something it is mine to do what I please with it ,, if JOE down the street wants to borrow or buy it from me , who are they to say that I can`t do this ,, there are no strings attached or no contracts sighned at time of purchase that I can not share it with anyone ,, sorry , but you guys who make the laws are off your rockers and need a check-up from the neck-up ,,, SO if our so called government infringes on our rights to freedom of speech and our right to privacy by restrickting our ability to surf the net and watch what we say and what we do ,,, it is no longer THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A DICTATOR is in office and our founding four fathers warned us of these types of people ,, and showed us at what cost it would take to remove the threat of tyranical leadership from our soil !!!!!! PEACE BE TO ALL and it might be time to head for the hills boys and get off the grid !!!!

1612.12.2011 7:17
IanKendall
Unverified new user

Originally posted by vurbal:
Originally posted by dEwMe:
God I hate to be one of those people but HOW DOES THIS CREATE JOBS?

But think of the copyright lawyers!
Yes. How will they make a living when nobody has the right to publish anything.

1712.1.2012 16:53
Heot
Unverified new user

Originally posted by dEwMe:
God I hate to be one of those people but HOW DOES THIS CREATE JOBS?

Pretty simple, art industry earn more money, can make more expensive stuff, can hire more people, etc etc

Nowdays average artists pay $500 for a video clip because they can't afford more. This apply for video game, animation, etc etc.

the only problem is that this money come from "you" :/

1813.1.2012 16:27

Little if any gets to the artist. In the US, the media put a new charge on internet streams to help the poor artist. When the writers guild wanted a fixed percentage of the take the media said the process was too complex for that and the guild went on strike for 6 months the the world got to see re-runs. The media made a record profit that year because the adds were not shortened. The 'artists' didn't get a dime of that new revenue stream created for the 'poor artists'.

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