Update/Related post: Where does IP Rank Among the Worst State Laws?
The civil libertarian and Internet-lovers are celebrating a temporary quasi-victory of sorts in the wake of the blow we delivered to the proponents of censorship, control, censorship, and abrogation of property rights, with the successful anti-about SOPA/PIPA/copyright Internet blackouts and protest campaign that culminated yesterday.
But I imagine the goons at the RIAA and MPAA are snickering right now. Because they know they don’t really need SOPA. Current copyright law, aided by the DMCA, ICE seizures, and so on are bad enough.1 My guess is these fascists figured they would try for SOPA and if it snuck in, more to the better; and if not, they could adopt the pose that current regulations are reasonable and just barely enough. But under current copyright and DMCA law and associated enforcing agents of the federal thugs, the Obama administration has seized websites to censor Wikileaks; Immigrations and and Custom Enforcement (ICE) has seized hundreds of domains in the name of stopping piracy and at the behest of the MPAA, in addition to other ICE domain seizures in the name of stopping child pornography (“Operation Protect Our Children“–What do you mean “our,” kemosabe?). An innocent hip-hop site was shut down for a year by ICE in the name of IP. Jammie Thomas and thousands of college students have been persecuted. Copyright has been used by private companies like Carrier IQ in censorship attempts–and in actual censorship, such as banning books and burning movies (literally: no hyperbole). The average Internet user already has potentially $4.5 billion—yes billion—in damages per year, for normal Internet use. That ain’t enough for these Big Content parasites?
On the day of the tech community’s “victory” over SOPA–yesterday–the Supreme Court ruled that Congress has the power to take public domain works and subject them again to copyright. And today, a mere day later, the Department of Justice (sic) has given us the middle finger, by having the FBI shut down MegaUpload.com, one of the world’s most popular file-sharing websites, and now proceeding to arrest four of its personnel behind it …. IN NEW ZEALAND (!) … in a global crackdown against the suspected online pirates (as noted in the DemandProgress alert pasted below) (see also Mike Masnick’s post DOJ Gives Its Opinion On SOPA By Unilaterally Shutting Down ‘Foreign Rogue Site’ Megaupload… Without SOPA/PIPA). And just the other day, a court ruled that British student Richard O’Dwyer can be extradited to US for having website with links to pirated movies. So what does the RIAA and MPAA need SOPA for? Copyright law is already horribly oppressive. Sure, they’ll keep turning the screw to put more pressure on free people who are not sufficiently under their control. But they already have a fascist boot on our throats. We cannot let up on them. We must eradicate copyright.
Here’s the DemandProgress alert:
Unbelievable: After history’s largest online protest, the U.S. Government nonchalantly responds with the middle finger. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The FBI shut down Thursday one of the world’s most popular file-sharing websites, MegaUpload.com, and announced the arrest of four of the people behind it in a global crackdown against the suspected online pirates.
Here — check it out: If SOPA and PIPA pass it’ll just broaden the government’s power to do things like this: MegaUpload.com. (And make it ILLEGAL for us to link to sites that are seized — like we just did in the last sentence.)
As MegaUpload’s website notes — er… noted:
The fact is that the vast majority of mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue.
This is what we’re up against. Please tell President Obama and your lawmakers to put an end to it. NOW.
Just fill out the form at right to tell Obama and your lawmakers to stop messing with the Net!
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- For more on copyright related ICE seizures under the Obama administration, see Down with Gatekeepers: Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration vs. Internet Freedom. [↩]