PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.
This is not awesome, and while I apologize for that, I feel it is important. So you’ll have to forgive me my transgression [edit: and the repost] and know that I’ll be back to my “posting science videos and TED talks” form next week. In the meantime, please watch the video above.
PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the net, in the name of protecting “creativity”. The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites– they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.”
The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.
Later today Congress will vote on whether or not to effectively destroy the Internet to save an industry that refuses to adapt to the modern world. The Entertainment Industry has lobbied to have the power to shut down any website, anywhere in the world, should they decide it has anything at all to do with copyright infringement. This bill requires no trial – not even proof of infringement – just the word of one industry that their dying business model of artificial scarcity is more important than the future of global communication.
Websites like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and even this very small, very nascent blog would become targets for censorship under the wording of this law, and could be blocked or immediately shut down without any recourse. For that matter, had this law been enacted, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube likely would never have existed in the first place, to say nothing of a thousand other smaller websites and startups.
According to the Entertainment Industry, the Internet has changed their business model, and must be destroyed. I, for one, don’t agree.
For more information, please visit the EFF, and if this sounds like something you’d like to fight, you can write Congress here or sign any number of petitions like this one.