Sometimes it takes direct action to get our attention. We recently seem to have had more and more with the Tea Party, Occupiers, and others. Which is a good thing.
Even though I consider myself well informed, and use the Internet daily in my work, avocations, and leisure, sometimes events and issue blow by me. Thanks to Jimmy Wales, the Google people, and others, I took the time to look into the proposed legislation further limit freedom in this country.
I ask everyone to write your U. S. Representative and Senators to oppose the passage of H.R.3261 – Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the related Senate S. 968 – Protect IP Act (PIPA).
The related bills, which are, mercifully, nowhere near as long as the PPACA (“Obamacare”), so our elected representative might actually read them, seek to give the Justice Department the power to shut down Internet sites and service providers. This power is alleged to be required to protect copyright holders. Both bills are typical of the sledgehammer-to-kill-the-fly-on-the-baby’s-head approach to legislation that Congress has taken for the past several decades. There are copyright laws and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in place right now that can address the individual copyright holders’ concerns.
This nation is drowning in statutory law, most of which has been ill-considered, and is to a large degree incomprehensible to those who must comply with it.
Furthermore, do we really want to give the Justice Department, under any regime, more power, and especially the power to shut down the 21st Century equivalent of a newspaper or magazine?
These bills are being brought forward by lobbyists for the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry for protection against piracy. You would think they can take care of themselves, with those kind of resources. But I recall the late liberal Democrat Hubert Humphrey cautioning that “the more power the government can do for you, the more it can do to you.”
If you have another take on this proposed legislation, please let me know.
For text of bill click SOPA