Wotka World Wide

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post has a great perspective on the Orwellian STOP Act, which will essentially eliminate free speech on the internet if passed in its current form, along with running contrary to numerous other Constitutionally guaranteed rights:
Harvard law professor and Supreme Court advocate Laurence Tribe (whom I don’t always agree with but who takes the Bill of Rights quite seriously and was instrumental in developing the jurisprudence that confirmed the Second Amendment is an individual right) has submitted a memo detailing the multiple ways in which SOPA runs afoul of the First Amendment. For example, “SOPA provides that a complaining party can file a notice alleging that it is harmed by the activities occurring on the site ‘or portion thereof .’ Conceivably, an entire website containing tens of thousands of pages could be targeted if only a single page were accused of infringement. Such an approach would create severe practical problems for sites with substantial user-generated content, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and for blogs that allow users to post videos, photos, and other materials.”And likewise: “The notice-and-termination procedure of Section 103(a) runs afoul of the ‘prior restraint’ doctrine, because it delegates to a private party the power to suppress speech without prior notice and a judicial hearing. This provision of the bill would give complaining parties the power to stop online advertisers and credit card processors from doing business with a website,merely by filing a unilateral notice accusing the site of being ‘dedicated to theft of U.S. property’ — even if no court has actually found any infringement. The immunity provisions in the bill create an overwhelming incentive for advertisers and payment processors to comply with such a request immediately upon receipt.”
Rep. Issa(R-CA) and Sen Wyden(D-OR) have introduced a competing bill(the "Open Act") that is a lot more restrictive in its languange, not to mention respective of the Constitution, but it remains to be seen if the Congressional sponsors pushing the STOP Act will accept this alternate version. This is because their pay masters, the RIAA and MPAA, are heavily invested in remaking(destroying?) the internet to line their own pockets.

And, of course, it is no coincidence that the largest donations from these organizations have gone to the STOP Act sponsors, chief among them Rep. Lamar Smith(R-TX), who must be either unaware or unconcerned that he is doing the bidding of two organizations that operate contrary to the beliefs and ideals of the majority of the constituents that elected him. Hopefully a primary challenge is in order.

Meanwhile, it is no surprise that former Senator Chris Dodd heads the MPAA. These career politicians take any opportunity to further screw over all Americans while enriching themselves.


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