The results are in to BetaNews poll "US Congress is considering two new copyright bills: PROTECT IP and Stop Online Piracy Act. Do you support them?" Among the 2,560 people who responded to the question (so far), 63 answered "Yes". Who are these people? I'm surprised it's that many. Only 95.43 percent answered "No" to legislation with wide bipartisan support and likelihood of passing both Houses in some form.
"Whenever you hear about something having 'bipartisan' support, hold onto your wallet and don't pick up the soap" writes commenter psycros. My own reaction is equally strong, and the proposed bills are supposed to protect me. I'm a victim. Everyday people steal copyrighted content BetaNews paid to produce and posts it for their own profit -- if nothing else feeding off the Google economy. PROTECT IP and SOPA are supposed to protect my writing and livelihood as a copyrighted content producer. No thanks.
This morning, as I write, the US House of Representatives is conducting a hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act. Senate version of the bill is PROTECT IP. Either bill would dramatically change how Americans use the Internet, by granting power to shut down sites for many reasons -- in the case of SOPA simply for linking to another site or content that may be pirated.
I'll probably write a commentary about the bills, which their critics claim will undermine free speech that made the World Wide Web an enabler of communications, commerce and transparency. Many opponents of both bills express greater concern about the House version, SOPA, which was introduced in late October. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Senate version, PROTECT IP, in May. The bills' motivations are simple: To extend copyright protections to the Internet.
Entertainment company Warner Bros. is defending its anti piracy efforts following allegations of abuse, including removing content that it did not own the copyrights to. The claims raise serious questions as to whether current anti-piracy efforts making its way through Congress may punish innocent parties if this is a common occurrence.
File hosting service Hotfile sued Warner in September, claiming that after granting server access to Warner to remove copyrighted content, the media giant not only removed its own but also content it owned no rights to.