Mozilla stirs netizens against US anti-piracy law
Dancing cats take-down threat
Mozilla is rallying netizens to take action against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), otherwise known as the internet blacklist legislation.
Mozilla's urging people to spread the word about the damage SOPA - better known as known as H.R.3261 - could cause to the internet and free speech. As well as its Protect the Internet site, Mozilla has also hooked up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to encourage US citizens to lobby members of Congress about the dangers SOPA poses to the 'net.
Mozilla, whose Firefox browser renders around a quarter of web traffic, has also signed an open letter to members of the US Judiciary Committee poring over the bill. The letter was also signed by AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo! and Zynga. Google chairman Eric Schmidt also blasted the proposed law as "draconian".
That letter here [PDF] warned SOPA would "seriously undermine" the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), from 1998, which safeguards websites that remove offending content in good faith.
It seems Mozilla is the only one of the letter's authors to have floated a website that actually urges action.
The letter Mozilla signed and its site come as members of the US Congress are due to conduct hearings on SOPA today, November 16, in Washington DC. In a rare display of Washington bi-partisanship, SOPA enjoys the support of members from both the Republican and Democrat parties. The bill is therefore expected to pass.
Mozilla's site warns that under SOPA whole sites could be blocked for carrying only a few infringing links; the ban would apply to a site's web, ad and search traffic using tactics Mozilla said are the same methods of censorship used by China, Iran and Syria.
The EFF, meanwhile, has warned SOPA is vague because it targets sites that "simply don't do enough to track and police infringement". A bill similar to SOPA, called the PROTECT-IP Act, has negotiated the US government's other chamber - the Senate. PROTECT-IP, EFF argues, takes a more targeted approach by aiming only at sites "dedicated to infringing activities".
Jennifer Mercurio vice President and general counsel of the US Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), however, has warned here that both bills are dangerous to the internet. She argues they will end the "fair use" provision of content online, something protected by the DMCA.
This will, for example, bring an end to one of the internet's primary uses as a mechanism for posting embarrassing videos of people and pets "dancing" to samples of copyrighted music. Also, SOPA and PROTECT-IP will prevent gamers posting videos of gameplay from protected titles such as Call of Duty.
PROTECT-IP went through the Senate earlier this year. It's likely given the way the US legislative process works that if SOPA is also passed by politicos, the acts will be combined to produce a single piece of legislation.
You can read SOPA here. ®
would it not be easier to....
put up a firewall around the USA and block out all the rest of the world from it, so all the nasty criminal activity wont be accessed by all the innocent impressionable Americans???
actually it would be a really good idea, along with a full trade embargo and communications blackout.
the crazy yanks could then be free to destroy themselves and their morally impoverished economy without taking out the rest of the world with them...
jail the real criminals
The solutionto this whole problem is the shutdown of the two of the most dangerous terrorist organisation in the know universe: MPAA/RISAA. they are the root of the problem. The MPAA/RIAA have destroyed the live of more amercians then any terrorist group and world war ever did COMBINED.
The MPAA for exemble break the law on a hourly basis. enough to send every to work there to jail for live.
The MPAA/RIAA NEED TO BE SHUTDOWN and they piracy will then be viewed for what it really is a mere annoyance that have ZERO impact on sales.
The US has no democracy while the entire legislature is in the back pocket of corporates. Unfortunately, this means that neither does the rest of the world.