Mesocosm Opposes SOPA and PIPA
Two pending pieces of legislation, the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) in the House, and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate, would, without exaggeration, destroy the Internet as we know it. These laws would require domain hosts to take down websites on the sole basis of an allegation that the website in question hosts material that infringes on copyright.
The history of copyright disputes is, of course, littered with cases in which copyright holders, through malice, ignorance, or intolerance of criticism, have issued threats and even launched legal action against perfectly legal uses of material.
Consider Stephen Joyce alleging that even memorizing portions of Finnegans Wake may constitute infringement, or take the case of the law firm Righthaven, which apparently exists solely in order to capitalize on suing on behalf of rights it does not even own.
Now imagine that litigious parties of this character are empowered by law to force takedowns, armed with nothing more than their assertion that material is infringing.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has provided a useful action page that gives quick access to contact information for your congressional representatives. Please take a minute to register your opposition to these odious pieces of legislation, and if you’re up for it, don’t forget to explain why removing the DNS provisions is not enough.
Picture of the original “Hear no Evil, see no evil, speak no evil motif” from the funerary complex of Tokugawa Ieyasu, copyright Barnaby Thieme.