Another Attack on the First Amendment and Due Process

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!


About Mystic Cowgirl

I worked overseas in the aid game for longer than I'd like to admit and learned several important things: 1) Third World countries aren't poor because America is rich. They're impoverished due to socialist governments that provide neither rule of law nor basic infrastructures; 2) These socialist governments redistribute wealth from taxpayers to the government workers. There's no benefit to the poor or downtrodden, and certainly not to the general welfare in terms of infrastructure improvements. 3) America is moving toward the Third World model. Rule of law has been subverted because equality under the law is disappearing as special interests carve out exemptions to regulations and special favors under the law. The redistribution of wealth to government began decades ago -- total compensation for government employees now outpaces salaries in the private sector.
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