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The first item on the U.S. Senate’s agenda for 2012 pits Hollywood together with Silicon Valley. It is a vote on PIPA — a bill called the Protect IP Act. The bill is meant to stop the copying of “intellectual property” online — music, movies, books and so forth — but opponents find it nothing less than Internet censorship.
PIPA and a bill in the House – SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, – were presented as a way to protect movie studios, record labels. Supporters come from the Country Music Association to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
But major players in the online world, including Facebook , Google, Tumblr and Twitter, say the bills require Internet provider blocking websites involved in digital file sharing. Search engines such as Google Bing, Yahoo could be stopped from linking to them – antithetical, to the ideal of open Internet.
The battle has become bitter enough, it was suggested that primary websites might go dark – perhaps replacing their home pages appealing to stop the two bills.
“Internet blackout’ would obviously be both drastic ” said NetCoalition in his statement. “We hope that the Senate will cancel its scheduled vote so that it will be possible to get back to working with members raised by the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America] .”
The owners of major Internet companies state they grant the music publishers and Hollywood studios have a problem – people are stealing the movies and music, making digital copies and offering them to download, often from foreign websites.
“More than 2.2 million middle-class people in all 50 states depend on the entertainment industry for the jobs and many millions work in other industries relying on intellectual property,” said Michael O’Leary of the Motion Picture Association of America. The Recording Industry Association of America provide some restrictions.
Tags: Internet censorship