The End of the Internet as We Know It
Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will hold their first hearing on E-PARASITE, a bill written by Hollywood lobbyists that could end the Internet as we know it. They’ve had their say, now it’s our turn.
Act now to protect Internet freedom by contacting the members of the House Judiciary Committee over the phone, and on Twitter and Facebook. Then, spread the word about Social Media #LobbyDay as we use the Internet to save the Internet.
What is PROTECT IP and E-PARASITE?
The PROTECT IP Act (S. 968) and the E-PARASITE Act (part of the “Stop Online Piracy Act”, H.R. 3261) would devastate job-creating American technology companies and social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube in the name of protecting Hollywood copyrights. These bills would create a “Great Firewall of America” by embracing the same Internet censorship tactics as the world’s worst human rights abusers, including regimes like communist China, Iran, Syria, and Burma. A number of technology experts have concluded that these bills would mean “the end of the Internet as we know it.”
What does it do?…
- Allows any content provider to accuse a website of promoting infringing content and have that site blocked from the Internet.
- Gives Eric Holder and the Justice Department control over the process for shutting down websites.
- Guts the tried-and-tested Digital Millenium Copyright Act — which allowed Google and Facebook to thrive in the first place — by shifting liability for policing copyright to social media sites. Every tweet and status update would have to be pre-checked for copyright violations, rather than taken down upon notice of infringement. This would destroy the social networks that small businesses use to find new customers, members of Congress use to communicate with constituents, and the Arab Spring revolutionaries used to overthrow tyrannical regimes.
- Breaks Internet security by tampering with the Domain Name System (DNS) and encourages the development of an insecure, offshore pirate DNS.
What doesn’t it do?
Actually prevent people from accessing pirated movies, music, and goods. Anyone looking for pirated content can simply visit the IP address of an infringing site instead of its domain name.
Who’s lobbying for PROTECT IP and E-PARASITE and stands to gain from it?
Hollywood, the recording industry, trial lawyers, copyright trolls, and labor unions.
Who opposes it?
America’s most innovative and successful technology companies, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, Constitutional law experts, free speech advocates, the Tea Party Patriots, and political activists right and left.
Are there better ways to stop piracy?
Yes. We can focus on shutting off revenue and payment processing for true “rogue” websites. Since the financial system is much more tightly concentrated than the Internet, these financial controls will be far more effective than a difficult to administer, unconstitutional, and ultimately ineffective censorship of the Internet.
When the entertainment industry focused on heavy handed legislation and suing its customers, it failed — teetering on the brink of extinction. When it finally came around and provided legal content options, first through iTunes, and today through Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, and Spotify, it made a comeback. Expanding legal online viewing and listening options is the only way proven to stop piracy.