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  • Gerrit Eicker 18:12 on 16. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: .EN ( 3,425 ), American Censorship ( 4 ), Business ( 1,192 ), Censorship ( 19 ), Content Sharing ( 9 ), Copyright ( 20 ), Entrepreneuers ( 7 ), File Sharing ( 7 ), Founders ( 5 ), Freedom ( 35 ), Freedom of Speech ( 29 ), Government ( 45 ), I Work For The Internet, Internet Censorship ( 12 ), Internet Freedom ( 24 ), IT ( 1,958 ), Law ( 21 ), Lawmakers ( 3 ), Links ( 82 ), Markets ( 596 ), Media ( 621 ), Net ( 2,755 ), PIPA ( 8 ), Politics ( 35 ), Privacy ( 239 ), Protect IP Act ( 5 ), Security ( 85 ), Sharing ( 127 ), Small Business ( 18 ), Social Media ( 1,080 ), SOPA ( 8 ), Stop Online Piracy Act ( 5 ), Traditional Business ( 3 ), Traditional Media ( 16 ), Traditional Publishing ( 14 ), USA ( 125 ), We Work For The Internet ( 2 ), Web ( 3,322 )   

    SOPA Nightmare 

    Petri on Judiciary Committee’s SOPA hearings: I just want the nightmare to be over; http://eicker.at/SOPAnightmare

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:12 on 16. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      WP, Petri: “Last night I had a horrifying dream that a group of well-intentioned middle-aged people who could not distinguish between a domain name and an IP address were trying to regulate the Internet. Then I woke up and the Judiciary Committee’s SOPA hearings were on. … [T]his is like a group of well-intentioned amateurs getting together to perform heart surgery on a patient incapable of moving. … This is terrifying to watch. It would be amusing – there’s nothing like people who did not grow up with the Internet attempting to ask questions about technology very slowly and stumbling over words like ‘server’ and ‘service’ when you want an easy laugh. Except that this time, the joke’s on us. … This afternoon, the hearings continue, with even more amendments. But at the rate it’s going, it looks likely that SOPA will make it to the floor. – I just want the nightmare to be over.

      VB: “A group of influential and iconic tech entrepreneurs have written an open letter of opposition to the recently proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which has been published as a paid advertisement in several major U.S. newspapers today. … The opposition letter warns of the dangers that SOPA would bring to business and innovation. It’s signed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Netscape co-founder and prominent investor Marc Andreessen, PayPal and Tesla founder Elon Musk and several others. … In addition to those top tech executives, several companies and organizations have publicly come out against SOPA. Open-source online encyclopedia Wikipedia is even toying with the idea of staging a blackout in protest of the proposed law.

      An Open Letter to Washington: “We’ve all had the good fortune to found Internet companies and nonprofits in a regulatory climate that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, the creation of content and free expression online. – However we’re worried that the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act – which started out as well-meaning efforts to control piracy online – will undermine that framework. – These two pieces of legislation threaten to: Require web services, like the ones we helped found, to monitor what users link to, or upload. This would have a chilling effect on innovation; – Deny website owners the right to due process of law; – Give the U.S. Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran; and – Undermine security online by changing the basic structure of the Internet. – We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation that underpins the Internet. Let’s not deny the next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same opportunities that we all had.” … [Signed by] Marc Andreessen (Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz), Sergey Brin (Google), Jack Dorsey (Twitter and Square), Caterina Fake (Flickr and Hunch), David Filo (Yahoo!), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post), Chad Hurley (YouTube), Brewster Kahle (Internet Archive and Alexa Internet), Elon Musk (PayPal), Craig Newmark (craigslist), Pierre Omidyar (eBay), Biz Stone (Obvious and Twitter), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation), Evan Williams (Blogger and Twitter), Jerry Yang (Yahoo!)

      NYT: “For years, pirated movies, television shows and music have been on the Internet. … Now, however, two bills, broadly supported on both sides of the political aisle, aim to cut off the oxygen for foreign pirate sites by taking aim at American search engines like Google and Yahoo, payment processors like PayPal and ad servers that allow the pirates to function. – Naturally the howls of protest have been loud and lavishly financed, not only from Silicon Valley companies but also from public-interest groups, free-speech advocates and even venture capital investors. They argue – in TV and newspaper ads – that the bills are so broad and heavy-handed that they threaten to close Web sites and broadband service providers and stifle free speech, while setting a bad example of American censorship. – Google itself has hired at least 15 lobbying firms to fight the bills; Mozilla has included on its Firefox browser home page a link to a petition with the warning, ‘Congress is trying to censor the Internet.’ A House committee plans to take up one of the bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act, on Thursday. … Many in the Internet world, however, see ominous aspects even in the revision. ‘There are some provisions that have improved,’ said Markham Erickson, executive director of NetCoalition, a group of technology companies that includes Facebook, LinkedIn and eBay. – ‘Unfortunately,’ Mr. Erickson said, ‘the amendment also creates new problems in other places and fails to correct some of the original concerns we have raised since the start of the debate.’ … A third alternative emerged last week, as Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has been blocking the Senate bill from getting to the floor, introduced a new proposal that would make the United States International Trade Commission the arbiter for Internet disputes over copyrighted material. ‘Butchering the Internet,’ Mr. Issa said, ‘is not a way forward for Americirca.’

      TLF: “On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee is slated to take up the misleadingly named Stop Online Piracy Act, an Internet censorship bill that will do little to actually stop piracy. In response to an outpouring of opposition from cybersecurity professionals, First Amendment scholars, technology entrepreneurs, and ordinary Internet users, the bill’s sponsors have cooked up an amended version that trims or softens a few of the most egregious provisions of the original proposal, bringing it closer to its Senate counterpart, Protect-IP. But the fundamental problem with SOPA has never been these details; it’s the core idea. The core idea is still to create an Internet blacklist, which means everything I say in this video still holds true. Let’s review the main changes. … These changes are somewhat heartening insofar as they evince some legislative interest in addressing the legitimate concerns that have been raised thus far. But the problem with SOPA and Protect IP isn’t that they need to be tweaked in order to get the details of an Internet censorship system right. There is no ‘right’ way to do Internet censorship, and the best version of a bad idea remains a bad idea.

      WMF: “How SOPA will hurt the free web and Wikipedia – Wikipedia arguably falls under the definition of an ‘Internet search engine,’ and, for that reason, a federal prosecutor could obtain a court order mandating that the Wikimedia Foundation remove links to specified ‘foreign infringing sites’ or face at least contempt of court sanctions. The definition of “foreign infringing sites” is broad and could well include legitimate sites that host mostly legal content, yet have other purported infringing content on their sites. Again, many international sites may decide not to defend because of the heavy price tag, allowing an unchallenged block by the government. The result is that, under court order, Wikimedia would be tasked to review millions upon millions of sourced links, locate the links of the so-called ‘foreign infringing sites,’ and block them from our articles or other projects. It costs donors’ money and staff resources to undertake such a tremendous task, and it must be repeated every time a prosecutor delivers a court order from any federal judge in the United States on any new ‘foreign infringing site.’ Blocking links runs against our culture of open knowledge, especially when surgical solutions to fighting infringing material are available. … In short, though there have been some improvements with the new version, SOPA remains far from acceptable. Its definitions remain too loose, and its structural approach is flawed to the core. It hurts the Internet, taking a wholesale approach to block entire international sites, and this is most troubling for sites in the open knowledge movement who probably have the least ability to defend themselves overseas. The measured and focused approach of the DMCA has been jettisoned. Wikimedia will need to endure significant burdens and expend its resources to comply with conceivably multiple orders, and the bill will deprive our readers of international content, information, and sources.

      Forbes, Tassi: “How SOPA Could Ruin My Life – Hi, my name is Paul, and I’m a small business owner. But my storefront isn’t quite of the traditional variety. Rather, it’s a virtual one, a website I built from scratch, and currently own and operate. … But that might not be the case if the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) passes. My virtual small business, along with many others like it, might be history. – Why is this? Am I a pirate, who feeds my users stolen content every day and deserves to be slain by a new law like this? Not at all, and this is the fundamental problem with SOPA and other prospective laws like it (Protect IP most recently). … The fine print of the law says sites that distribute copyrighted content could be subject to summary censorship, ie Torrent sites and the like. But it also encompasses any sites that LINK to copyrighted content, which is the bomb that blows up any semblance of sense this bill might have had. … So how many of these reports would it take before I lose my advertisers? Get my site on a government blacklist? Twenty? A dozen? Five? As an owner of a YouTube channel and Facebook page, I’ve had content falsely reported for copyright many times. … Stop SOPA, stop Protect IP, stop letting congressmen who don’t even understand the internet to dictate its future. Go here to voice your concerns, and pray that even if you’re not handing them tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash, that your representatives might actually listen to you.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:41 on 17. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “What was expected in this contingency was for the committee to resume work whenever the House reconvenes in January. After all, with such controversial and far-reaching legislation, it is better to take one’s time. But no: the committee has announced it will continue markup this coming Wednesday, the 21st of December. … It’s telling how badly the bill’s supporters want this thing to go through that they’re willing to come in right in the middle of the holidays to do work that could easily be done a few weeks from now. We’ll follow up on Wednesday, when the bill is likely to be approved and sent on to the House.”

      SEL: “The delay is to allow more experts to weigh in with opinions and recommendations addressing technical, legal and first amendment issues. – If you’re involved with any type of online marketing, you should learn as much as you can about this proposed legislation, as the implications (mostly negative, unless you’re a large content provider or trademark holder) are huge.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:37 on 13. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: .EN ( 3,425 ), Activism ( 6 ), American Censorship ( 4 ), Censoring ( 14 ), Censorship ( 19 ), Communications ( 594 ), Communities ( 90 ), Copyright ( 20 ), Freedom ( 35 ), Freedom of Speech ( 29 ), I Work For The Internet, Internet Censorship ( 12 ), Internet Freedom ( 24 ), IT ( 1,958 ), Legislation ( 3 ), Media ( 621 ), Net ( 2,755 ), PIPA ( 8 ), Protect IP Act ( 5 ), Social ( 185 ), Social Action ( 17 ), Social Freedom ( 6 ), Social Media ( 1,080 ), Social Reaction ( 2 ), SOPA ( 8 ), Stop Online Piracy Act ( 5 ), We Work For The Internet ( 2 ), Web ( 3,322 ), Wikipedia ( 45 )   

    We Work For The Internet 

    Wales thinks about a blackout of Wikipedia to protest SOPA. – We Work For The Internet; http://eicker.at/WeWorkForTheInternet

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:38 on 13. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      VB: “Strike! Wikipedia founder floats idea of site blackout to protest SOPA – Wikipedia, the web’s edit-friendly encyclopedia, is considering drastic action to get the government to back down from passing the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), a bill that opponents consider the equivalent of legalizing web censorship. – In a note posted to his personal page Saturday, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales floats the idea of a community strike that would make the entire site blank to U.S., and possibly even global, visitors.

      Wales, Wikipedia: “A few months ago, the Italian Wikipedia community made a decision to blank all of Italian Wikipedia for a short period in order to protest a law which would infringe on their editorial independence. The Italian Parliament backed down immediately. As Wikipedians may or may not be aware, a much worse law going under the misleading title of ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ is working its way through Congress on a bit of a fast track. I may be attending a meeting at the White House on Monday (pending confirmation on a couple of fronts) along with executives from many other top Internet firms, and I thought this would be a good time to take a quick reading of the community feeling on this issue. My own view is that a community strike was very powerful and successful in Italy and could be even more powerful in this case. There are obviously many questions about whether the strike should be geotargetted (US-only), etc. (One possible view is that because the law would seriously impact the functioning of Wikipedia for everyone, a global strike of at least the English Wikipedia would put the maximum pressure on the US government.) At the same time, it’s of course a very very big deal to do something like this, it is unprecedented for English Wikipedia. … So, this is a straw poll. Please vote either ‘support’ or ‘oppose’ with a reason, and try to keep wide-ranging discussion to the section below the poll. – To be clear, this is NOT a vote on whether or not to have a strike. This is merely a straw poll to indicate overall interest. If this poll is firmly ‘opposed’ then I’ll know that now. But even if this poll is firmly in ‘support’ we’d obviously go through a much longer process to get some kind of consensus around parameters, triggers, and timing.”

      I Work For The Internet: “We work for the Internet. We know first-hand that the Internet powers the American dream. American innovators have built the world’s most popular sites, selling products and services to every corner of the globe, creating high-paying jobs from Maine to Hawaii. If Congress passes the Stop Online Piracy Act, America’s most promising engine of future jobs and opportunity will be put at risk. Don’t stop us now – we’re just getting started! Tell the world you work for the Internet.

      TC: “Congress is moving ahead with trying to pass SOPA – the so-called ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ that includes all sorts of draconian measures that would stifle free expression as we know it. Here’s a simple action you can take to tell everyone how you feel about that. – A site called ‘I Work For The Internet’ lets you upload a photo and first name, and what you do for a living. … You might not change any votes by sharing your photo, but you’ll get some comfort out of participating if you’ve been feeling that the bill has been incorrectly portrayed as ‘media companies versus tech companies,’ like I have. Browsing the site will also give you a visceral sense of who all those other random internet users are out there.”

      GigaOM: “In contrast to SOPA and PIPA, which many critics said were far too wide-ranging in their definition of what constitutes an ‘infringing site’ – a net some believed could easily have trapped popular media and content sites like YouTube as well as obvious piracy-focused services – OPEN narrows that to concentrate on those ‘dedicated to infringing activity.’ It also requires that the International Trade Commission be the independent arbiter of whether a site qualifies, whereas SOPA gave companies the ability to shut down websites with just a court order. – In a long analysis of OPEN, technology and intellectual-property law expert Eric Goldman said the new proposed law isn’t perfect, but is a ‘useful starting point’ for a conversation about how to implement anti-piracy legislation – and how to do this without caving in to what he called ‘rent seekers’ in the media and entertainment industries, and without breaking the Internet by forcing ISPs to change the domain-name system. … Whether any of these efforts will result in Congress turning away from its support of SOPA and PIPA remains to be seen, but it appears a number of forces both inside the government and outside are determined not to let that happen without a fight.

    • Gerrit Eicker 20:34 on 13. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Zeldman: “THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do today: help STOP SOPA once and for all. – The Stop Online Piracy Act could pass this week. U.S. friends reading this, call your Representatives now to be heard before the bill is finalized and voted on. Fightforthefuture.org makes it easy. Go there and do this. – We thank you.

      VB: “So far, 87% of Wikipedians support an anti-SOPA blackout – Wikipedia might see a blackout to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which goes before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this Thursday, December 15. – Wikimedia chief Jimmy Wales recently started a poll to determine whether Wikipedia’s vast community thought SOPA was worth protesting. He noted that a similar protest conducted on the Italian Wikipedia site had a profound impact and asked users to weigh in on a blackout for the English-language version of the site.”

      RWW: “There is already a well-functioning administrative body for handling intellectual property disputes between U.S.-based companies and parties in foreign countries. It’s the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), and if you’ve followed the many disputes brought by Apple against mobile phone makers, by mobile phone makers against Apple, and among IP portfolio holders such as Qualcomm and Broadcom, no doubt you’ve heard of USITC. – So why didn’t Congress consider the Commission as a solution for the burning problem of resolving piracy matters with unknown parties outside U.S. borders? That’s a question being asked, and possibly even answered, by an alternative bill introduced last week to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP bills in the House and Senate, respectively. This morning, a cavalcade of leading tech companies known to oppose SOPA already have signed on as supporters of the USITC-based alternative.

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