DownsizeDC.org
November 1, 2011
Hollywood Wants the End of the Internet As We Know It
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: "I'm still reviewing the legislation, but from what I've already read, this would mean the end of the Internet as we know it." - Rep. Zoe Lofgren

Big Hollywood lobbyists are declaring war on social networking and file sharing. And they've done what every major industry does these days. They've enlisted Congress to draft bills to protect their so-called "intellectual property" (IP) rights.

As the letter below indicates, these bills create dangerous powers - such as the ability to "blacklist" some of your favorite websites. They're also unnecessary.

That's why I have told Congress to defeat these bills, and urge you to do the same using DownsizeDC.org's Hands Off the Internet Campaign.

You may borrow from or copy this letter...

I strongly oppose H.R. 3261 (Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA) and S.968 (Protect Intellectual Property Act or PIPA).

As concerned tech investors have noted, "There is a new model for financing, distributing, and profiting from copyrighted material and it is working -- just look at services like iTunes, Netflix, Pandora, Kickstarter, and more. Pirate web sites will always exist, but if rights holders make it easy to get their works through innovative Internet models, they can and will have bright futures." (http://bit.ly/tXPYHR)

Instead, Big Hollywood lobbyists are trying to con you into passing "Internet Blacklist" bills. They would threaten countless websites, probably including some of my favorites. In fact...

Under government orders, ISPs and search engines could be forced to redirect or dump my attempts to reach certain websites.

And even private parties would have similar powers... (http://bit.ly/snf2l4)

* An IP rightsholder can send a notice _claiming_ an IP infringement on a website 
* Payment processors and ad services used by that website have 5 days to stop doing business with it
* Even if no judge has found the website's owner guilty of any actual crime

SOPA and PIPA effectively repeal key provisions of existing law. In a letter sent to Congress last June, a coalition of venture capitalists explained that current law... (http://bit.ly/tXPYHR)

* Created legal certainty for online services, whereas SOPA and PIPA are vague and destroy due process
* Guaranteed that, as long as certain conditions were met, online services would face no liability for the acts of their users
* Already gives IP rights-holders a way to take down specific infringing content, and... 

It is working.

That's why nearly everyone, except the Big Hollywood lobbyists and any of your colleagues who fall for their flim-flam, can tell that SOPA and PIPA are unnecessary.

* Innovation is happening.
* Consumers are getting lots of wonderful content.
* Websites owners are able to abide by the rules.
* There's more content than ever.
* And even major content creators are reaching new audiences.

PIPA and SOPA are backward, reactionary bills designed to protect the profits of movie and recording industries, giving them less incentive to adapt to the 21st century. Perhaps we should try to revive the buggy whip industry!

Stand for progress, creativity, and innovation. Oppose SOPA and PIPA!

END LETTER

You can send your letter using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

I'm sure your friends value Internet freedom as much as you. Tell them about this, and share this message on Twitter and Facebook.

MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT

Tomorrow (Wednesday), I'll be guest-hosting Straight Talk w/Jerry Hughes. I'll be joined by... 

We'll discuss Voluntaryism -- a movement that undermines statism of ALL flavors by withdrawing consent -- and its practical applications, such as Free Keene.

You can listen live at 2:07 PM Eastern (1:07 PM Central, 12:07 PM Mountain, and 11:07 PM Pacific).

I will monitor his Twitter account for comments and questions during the broadcast. @JimBabka

YOU CAN LISTEN TO LAST WEEK'S SHOW AT OUR BLOG.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Blog commenting is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can send an email if there's something you'd like to tell us.

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