FB may IPO, Sopa, Pipa and the Anti Child Porn regulation – 01312012

News of interest in your and my world. FaceBook appears to be preparing for their IPO.  This will be a huge IPO according to CIO Insight and others it may be the largest IT IPO ever. For more information check out Facebook to File for IPO Feb. 1: WSJ Report from CIO Insight.

Why did many web sites go dark, and some where hit with Denial of Service? Google went black, as  well as other big sights including Wikipedia what did it all mean?  It was protests against several laws being reviewed in congress.

PIPAdefinition straight from Wikipedia – The PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PIPA). The law is intended to help thwart the sales of counterfeit products and other protected infringements.

The bill defines infringement as distribution of illegal copies, counterfeit goods, or anti-digital rights management technology.

The PROTECT IP Act says that an “information location tool shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, to remove or disable access to the Internet site associated with the domain name set forth in the order”. In addition, it must delete all hyperlinks to the offending “Internet site”.

It is this wording that I understand that led to the blackout of many sites and links on websites joining the protest. I believe that a lot of controversy over what is an infringement including things like my clips from sites like Wikipedia used above.  If a company felt we were infringing their rights any one linking to this article would have to cease and block those links, as well as my hosting site would be required to shut us down. This would be completed by blocking access to the resolved IP address for the state as stated:

Nonauthoritative domain name servers would be ordered to take technically feasible and reasonable steps to prevent the domain name from resolving to the IP address of a website that had been found by the court to be “dedicated to infringing activities.” for more information from Wikipedia visit here.  There is no way for me to explain this law as it is a deep dive into the typical rhetoric of law and almost impossible for common men to follow or enforce.

SOPAStop online Piracy again from Wikipedia, is a United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.  In context here it sounds like a good thing. That is what seems so simple about these laws how simple, why stand against stopping something that may already be illegal.  I guess from what everyone talks about it is the enforcement and abuse that may ensue that makes this look bad. Not to mention that there is a lot of “Big Brother” types of issues involved. Like having to inspect Internet Packet/Traffic for content and intended recipients.  Opponents to the bill sight infringements of Free Speech, Censorship and by passing of the regulations of a law added recently called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  Again I am a laymen when it comes to these laws, but I see huge hurdles to enforcement, and repair for falsely identified sights. Opponents to the bills have suggested an alternative to the bill but it has stalled in the House.  The House Judicial Committee has decided to postpone the scripting of this alternative.

Anti-Child Pornography Act – while I am not a supporter of child/kiddie porn, I do understand some of the issues with this law. But, first you have to also understand how hard it will be for anyone to stand up against this law if goes up for vote. Can you imagine ads saying Senator X is against Anti-Child Pornography etc… You get the picture? Why would this even be the case? Well privacy or lack of will become a huge issue with this act.  This law would require IP providers to maintain the address information of its users for 18 months. 

So what? well in the article from the Wall Street Journal they point out that critics allege that the bill would allow law enforcement to access Internet records in cases unrelated to child pornography. Sensenbrenner described the measure as allowing the government to “rummage through Internet service providers’ records.” 

Thus an invasion of the privacy of lawful and unlawful users of the internet.  So again we face laws that are going to challenge Freedoms and Rights spelled out in other laws. 

Again, I support stopping “Kiddie Porn” and other activities like this but we need to be able to understand the law and have reasonable ways to enforce them.  So if anyone really is listening shorten the rules, make them enforceable, do not infringe on existing rights and use words that the average person can understand. If most of our laws were written in simple forms people would understand them better, that doesn’t mean they will break them less but when we have to spend time in legislation, judicially it should be easier for everyone to understand and rule on these.

Additionally Congressmen, House and other legal professionals, do not try to slide these types of laws on the backs of other things going through. It makes you look cowardly. You do not want the people to know what you are doing.  It seems that you fear open debate with your constituents on these topics and the possible total rejection of your ideas. Wake up we are all concerned about jobs in the US and what is happening. Maybe we need to help our citizens understand what Counterfeiting, Copyright Infringement, and other issues like this are doing in our economy.  Maybe industries need to look at their pricing model and get a better understanding why people are not willing to pay for their products, these could be huge lessons to learn.  Also the industries like the recording and movie industries needs to be careful where they throw their stones. In some cases it is this technology that killed the traditional  market for distribution, but seem to be opening a new one vial Online Streaming, Bit-Torrent (transfer) methods, and I am sure the list goes on.  

You want to really stop this type of activity than become an activist and help spread true information and find alternatives that people are willing to commit to. This may have more effect than hard to enforce, and understand laws.

A political and educational attempt of ideas from the techies at www.end2endsupport.com
 

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