Probably everyone finds it difficult to summarize the lawyer-speak intricacies of the PIPA, SOPA, E-PARASITE legislation. Very few, however, are confused about the clear threat such legislation presents to freedoms of press, speech, and due process. On January 18, 2012 many websites went partially or completely black for the day in protest. Let’s take a scatter-shot look around and find a few reflective comments.
A headline at International Business Times read “What is SOPA? Possible Consequences that Could Ruin the Internet”.
Vice.com ran a headline: “The Author of SOPA Is a Copyright Violator”. DailyTech.com also headlined it, and it reads in part: “….SOPA Author Caught Stealing Work”.
A report by TorrentFreak.com had this to say: ….”we felt that there was at least one place that warranted further investigation – the U.S. House of Representatives. Since it’s the birthplace of the pending SOPA bill, we wondered how many of the employees there have engaged in unauthorized copying. The answer is yet again unambiguous – they pirate a lot.”
SaveTheInternet.com posted a LIST of Legislators that support PIPA, as well as those that oppose it.
Techdirt.com headlined a list of high-profile “famous people” and then summed up with: “….When even the very people that the entertainment industry insists it’s ‘protecting’ with these bills are being quite vocal against them, you have to wonder why they’re being pushed so hard? Once again, it seems that these bills aren’t about protecting artists at all. They’re about protecting the gatekeepers, who want to control those artists….”.
Another headline at that site read: “Raging Grannies Come Out Against SOPA/PIPA”. They specifically identify both of California’s senators as supporting bad legislation.
The Inquirer.net posted with: “THE MAN who founded the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, has hit out at SOPA and PIPA legislation.” TheHill.com headlined: “Congress wants to censor you”.
ArsTechnica.com headlined in part with: “PIPA support collapses….”. “An Ars Technica survey of Senators’ positions on PIPA turned up only two Democrats, Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who announced their opposition on Wednesday. The other 11 Senators who announced their opposition on Wednesday were all Republicans.”
Georgia State University’s GSUsignal.com ran with: “American values in retrograde motion”….The Protect IP Act (PIPA) extended indefinite quarantine without trial or charge to American citizens….Since Sept. 11 we have gradually signed off our rights, one-by-one….”.
Many technology experts are certain that had PIPA / SOPA laws existed at the beginning of the internet, Twitter, Facebook ,YouTube, Reddit, DropBox and many more, would not exist today.
Large numbers of constitutional lawyers and highly qualified observers state clearly, that PIPA and SOPA disregard and violate constitutional requirements for due process in lawful proceedings, and are a clear and present danger to freedoms of press and speech. A Viacom executive, testifying before Congress, said the overwhelming majority of piracy is coming from “about twenty websites”. It would seem to be obvious that the SOPA, PIPA, E-PARASITE nuclear bombs of censorship legislation are not needed to deal with “twenty websites”.
Perhaps most telling of all, BusinessInsider.com headlined: “Yes, SOPA Is Awful, But These 3 Things Are Even Scarier”.
Quoting their article, item number three says: “President Obama really did sign the NDAA into law on New Year’s Eve, while most of us were distracted with celebrations and (too much) champagne.”
“It really does contain an indefinite detention provision, which according to law professor Jonathan Turley in The Guardian (and nearly everyone else!), allows the government to detain its own citizens without trial, and without charge.”
“It was a symbolic moment, to say the least. With Americans distracted with drinking and celebrating, Obama signed one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties in the history of our country … and citizens partied in unwitting bliss into the New Year,” he wrote.”
SOPA, PIPA, E-PARASITE legislation is not about preventing piracy or theft.
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