Congress is currently considering a new Internet piracy bill, SOPA, which sounds like a good idea. After all, piracy is a bad thing. But as usual, the devil is in the details. From The Hill:
Under the proposed legislation all that’s required for government to shutdown a specific website is the mere accusation that the site unlawfully featured copyrighted content. Such an accusation need not be proven – or even accompanied by probable cause. All that an accuser (or competitor) needs to do in order to obtain injunctive relief is point the finger at a website.
Additionally, SOPA would grant regulators the ability to choke off revenue to the owners of these newly classified “rogue” websites by accusing their online advertisers and payment providers as co-conspirators in the alleged “piracy.” Again, no finding of fact would be required – the mere allegation of impropriety is all that’s needed to cut the website’s purse strings.
So theoretically, even though the quote above is properly cited (The Hill) and its source linked to, the accusation that using it is a violation of copyright would be enough for the feds to shut FemCon3 down. This seems a bit extreme, particularly since we already have copyright laws. Under current law, I can be sued if I don’t properly attribute quotations I use in a blog. Now, I don’t know how hard it is to do that, and I do know there’s a lot of theft and piracy that goes on online. But I’d rather risk having my intellectual property being ripped off than lose due process.
CA Congressman Darrell Issa (R), who is becoming more and more of a hero to me, opposes the bill. Hammering the administration over Fast and Furious, fighting for Internet freedom… Issa rocks! And he’s from California… I know. Weird!