SOPA or Hollywood versus the Internet

Posted by on Dec 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

A bill that has been circulating, perhaps percolating is a better word, through the halls of congress is one which is sponsored by a Republican, Lamar Smith from Texas and is squarely aimed at the heavyweights of the internet in response to concerns from Hollywood revolving around copyright infringement of their product. Actually what it is about is reduced revenue for the Hollywood 1% because of the ability to obtain music and movies through online sources.

SOPA represents the latest effort from the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and their allies to counter what they view as rampant piracy on the Internet, especially offshore sites such as It would allow the Justice Department to seek an order making allegedly piratical Web sites virtually vanish from the Internet.

The only place you’ll find more imaginative bookkeeping is on capitol hill. Did you know the actor who played Darth Vader has not received a residual check because the studio claims the movies have yet to make a profit?

The Bill is scheduled to receive a vote sometime today, BTW SOPA stands for Stop Online Pirarcy Act. I have been following the back forth between the big names in the cyber world and those of Hollywood with more then a little bit of curiosity because the way the act is written right now it has the potential to deny online content of any audio/video.

Yet his own proposal hands tremendous authority to the Justice Department. SOPA would let the attorney general obtain a court order requiring Internet providers to “prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site that is subject to the order.” That includes Internet Protocol address blocking and also appears to allow deep packet inspection to restrict access to specific URLs.

Rep. Jared Polis, an openly gay Democrat whose district includes Boulder, Colo. and is probably Smith’s polar opposite on social issues, is a bit more pointed in his criticism.

“Other Republicans have been very skeptical of the attorney general’s leadership, of his use of discretion,” Polis told CNET in an interview this week. “And here we’re going to give him enormous powers over the Internet and allow him to use them at his discretion in a selective way.”

I have no issue with punishing folks who abuse the work of others without giving them the proper reimbursement. I don’t believe in just handing that power over to some one who can at their discretion determine who that should be.  It is also a little more then ironic that this actions is being promoted and pursued by the Hollywood crowd. The same group who says the rich don’t pay enough taxes and throw their support behind the Occutards to go after other big businesses. You know. Everybody but them.

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