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Registration date : 2008-11-02
|Subject: The SOPA Bill Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:11 pm|| |
The US Congress is currently considering a bill called SOPA(Stop Online Piracy Act). On the surface, it appears to be just that- a bill that would allow the government and major corporations such as those in the movie and music industry to prosecute, blacklist, and effectively censor websites and even entire domain names that advocate and participate in illegal piracy activities. Sounds good, right?
The bill defines what constitutes piracy and copyright infringement in very broad terms. This broad definition means that they could target a website that lets you download an entire movie, someone who just posts a Youtube video of themself singing to a favorite song, and everything in between! Those in violation would face a penalty that could include taking down and blocking the offending content or even something as extreme as forcing search engines like Google to remove the website or domain name from search results.
And the real kicker?
They wouldn't even need PROOF of illegal activity. Only suspicion. When it comes to legislation, the things that are NOT said can be just as important as the things that ARE. And this bill does NOT say that any sort of proof would be needed before action is taken against an offending site. There's a reason cops have to get a warrant before they can search your home: to prevent them from abusing their power and authority. The government's approach to piracy with SOPA is to shoot first and ask questions later, because the ends justify the means to them. This sort of thing is incredibly similar to how China censors its internet.
SOPA makes a mockery of our freedom. It flies in the face of the First Amendment's freedom of speech (or, if the judicial system doesn't agree with that, it at least falls under the Ninth Amendment). This sort of rights-murdering bill is exactly why our Founding Fathers were afraid of a large, powerful federal government.
I have signed online petitions telling Congress not to pass this bill, and I have sent an email expressing my displeasure to my state representative. If you're an American citizen, especially one of voting age, I strongly advise you do the same. We the people have a duty to remind the federal government that it cannot trample our rights and do whatever the hell it feels like. Don't let them turn the Land of the Free into the Land of the Tyrants.
This is not a joke. This is very real. I have read through the document that was the precursor to SOPA (I have yet to find and read the text of the SOPA bill itself but I intend to) and I did not like what I saw. At ALL. As of November 17th, the bill has passed a Senate panel and, if I recall my government class correctly, will now go on to the full Senate. If they pass it, the bill will go to the House of Representatives (if it hasn't already) and once both have approved it, it's up to President Obama to either sign it or veto it. Yet even if Obama vetos it, Congress can override the veto with a 2/3 majority vote.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who would give up essential liberty, in exchange for a little security, deserve neither."