The technology community has made substantial in-roads in efforts to stop SOPA and Protect IP, two bills pending in Congress that would expand the ability of federal law enforcement and rightsholders to police the Internet for violations of intellectual-property laws. read more
While thousands of tech vendors frantically demoed new gadgets and apps at the giant Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a debate over the future of the Internet and how the government may regulate distribution of (often pirated) content was taking place down the hall….read more
Op-Ed in The Hill by FMC Deputy Director Casey Rae-Hunter.
The music industry has a long history of telling artists to “shut up and sing.” Which is why the internet has been so important in amplifying the voices of musicians of every conceivable background. It’s also why artists should be wary when powerful entertainment conglomerates push for polices that could undermine free expression, all the while claiming to speak for creators.
Congress is currently considering a pair of well-intentioned but deeply flawed pieces of legislation that threaten to fundamentally change how the internet works. Hollywood and the labels back these bills, which are rightfully being questioned by the broader arts community, from artists and managers to writers and performers. read more
Under current law, any U.S. website posting infringing content has to take the song or movie down at the request of whatever company owns the copyright. But under SOPA, companies could go directly to web hosting companies and require them to take down the entire website — not just individual songs and videos.
As a result, SOPA creates a new opening for corporate command of the Internet. Under SOPA, web hosting companies that take down legitimate websites at the behest of copyright holders would be granted blanket immunity from any liability for losses caused to those legitimate sites. read more
The “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act” (PROTECTIP) is a bill currently introduced in the Senate [PDF]. It creates more opportunities for the government and interested individuals to police websites engaged in activities that infringe intellectual property (IP) rights.