internet piracy

WHY SOPA/PIPA CONCERNS ME

Though American both the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act allow American special interest groups to impose their interpretations of United States copyright law on foreign nationals and foreign businesses located outside of the United States.

As Canadians we should be concerned because we have different laws in regards to Copyright and we’re in the middle of reforming our copyright act.

Works are made available to Canadians in the public domain two decades before these same works are made available to Americans and Europeans so if I were to publish Ernest Hemingway‘s works on this site, for example, I could be subjected to litigation by his American publishers.

Though legal to publish in Canada, his works could have my site removed from the American search engines and cause my site to loose affiliations and funding from American companies and individual American donators. And it doesn’t appear to matter that my site is hosted in Canada because the American copyright lobby have laid claim to the .com domain in the TVShack case.

When British citizens are subjected to extradition over linking to copyrighted material, a legal act within the United Kingdom, it is obvious that restraint would not happen after the passing of this legislation. And I have in the past inadvertently linked copyrighted material.

I have had requests for links that sounded legitimate but were not. And nothing stops an illegitimate profiteer from buying a legitimate site or domain that I’ve linked in the past, without my knowledge.

I do my best to clean up my listings. But people could also spam this site, an illegal act in Canada, yet I could still be subjected to the SOPA condoned retribution. The legislation is that dangerously vague.

Yes, there are sites in Russia and China that blatantly violate copyright but SOPA is a slippery slope.

Wikipedia Joins Tomorrow’s SOPA Blackout

MSNBC blogger Bob Sullivan reports that Wikipedia has joined tomorrow’s SOPA Blackout.

Numerous sites have already confirmed their participation in this protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act as concerns mount with the extradition of TVShack co-creator Richard O’Dweyer to the United States.

SOPA Protests Scheduled For Jan 18th

Several American sites have decided to go dark on January 18th to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, a controversial piece of legislation that has been introduced into the House Of Representatives in the United States.

Reddit, Red 5 Studios, the Chezburger sites, Major League Gaming, Sonicretro, Gog.com, Minecraft/Mojang.com, xda-developers.com, Platform Nation, Dark Legacy Comic and TuCows (my registrar) are the first to confirm their participation. And this list of sites will likely expand as more confirmed opponents decide to participate.

Click here to read a joint statement against SOPA from AOL Inc., eBay Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., LinkedIn Corporation, Mozilla Corp., Twitter, Inc.,Yahoo! Inc. and Zynga Game Network.

SOPA Protests Threatened

A new year is about to begin and protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act are being organized.

Amazon.com has joined with Google, eBay, Paypal, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, Bloomberg and numerous other companies and individuals in founding NetCoalition, an organization dedicated to opposing SOPA. And there have been numerous media accounts about the possibility of self imposed black-outs by NetCoalition members.

According to Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales, a similar protest by the Italian version of Wikipedia had been successful in thwarting an Italian law that would have limited editorial independence. But it appears that this protest may be limited according to Wales :

“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 geotargeted (U.S.-only), etc.”

If these protests are geotargeted Canadians will be able to access the sites, as usual. But Wales claims that a blackout of the English version of Wikipedia is being considered :

“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.”

The date of this protest has yet been published but several media outlets and blogs speculate that it may be scheduled for the 24th of January, when the United States Senate vote on the Protect IP Act.

About Face On SOPA for GoDaddy

GoDaddy has reversed their position in regards to the Stop Online Piracy Act according to an official statement issued today :

“Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation – but we can clearly do better,” Warren Adelman, Go Daddy’s newly appointed CEO, said. “It’s very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”

The Stop Online Piracy Act was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011 and would enable the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright owners in the states to impose American law on foreign sites by compelling American search engines to remove links to these foreign sites, by disallowing American advertising on those sites and by severing payments processed by American facilitators like Paypal.

Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and numerous other groups have voiced concerns about the ramifications of this legislation, including some Canadian groups who believe the United States could attempt to isolate countries whose copyright laws are not compatible with theirs.

The Hurt Locker Lawsuits Come North

It appears that Bell Canada, Cogeco Cable and Videotron GP were ordered to provide Voltage Pictures LLC subscriber information by a Federal Court in Montreal yesterday.

The producer of the film “The Hurt Locker” had used a previous rulling in regards to music piracy to obtain this information and it appears that the internet providers will comply, including Bell who were asked to divulge information on less than 10 subscribers according to Mediacaster Magazine.

It’s time to secure those open wi-fi connections guys.