Some Almost Internet Censorship Laws You Should be Aware Of

There are two laws being tossed about in Congress that could effectively give the government and corporations new powers to block Americans’ access to sites that are merely ACCUSED of copyright infringement.   A suit would be available AFTER the site is blacklisted and your Internet Service provider, (ISP), such as Comcast, AT&T, or others was notified and had already blocked your access.  The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) might force sites like YouTube to go to new lengths to police users’ contributions, and put people in prison for streaming certain content online.

For a useful summary read the Washington Post article, SOPA’s ugly message to the world about America and internet Innovation

Yes, we all believe copyright infringement is bad.   But, is censorship the most appropriate way to assure content is not shared illegally?    YouTube and FB and other sites provide for sharing of much content that is not in violation of our copyright laws.   And, some people fear that there is little in the law to prevent people from making false accusations in order to block people’s access to valid information that the executive branch of our government would perfer people not have.  Consider a site like “”.

Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat from Oregon, has been steadfast in his opposition. He is joined by many high tech and silicon valley companies such as Google, Facebook, Zynga, eBay, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Reddit.

CreativeAmerica describes itself as a “grassroots” organization supporting the legislation.  But it is supported by a coalition of major entertainment unions, guilds, studios, and networks. This includes the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, CBS Corporation, the Directors Guild of America, IATSE International, NBC Universal, the Screen Actors Guild, Sony Pictures Entertainmnet Inc., Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, the Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.


One Comment on “Some Almost Internet Censorship Laws You Should be Aware Of”

  1. News to Note says:

    Since I last published the above note, a recent article in Truth Out, The SOPA Scoop: Anti-Piracy Bills Enrage Web Freedom Groups, Divide Congress, has appeared which does an excellent job of explaining the implications of the law in terms an average person can appreciate.

    A relevant quote from the article….

    “Both bills would allow the Justice Department to take down sites deemed to be “dedicated to infringing activities” and both the department and copyright owners would be allowed to sue alleged infringers. The bills also allow the Justice Department to demand that search engines, payment processors like PayPal, social media sites and service providers remove links and block access to targeted sites.

    In addition, SOPA would make the unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted content a felony carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison, a measure that prompted the American Censorship coalition to claim “singing a pop song on Facebook could be a felony.””

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