Hmmm… word comes that the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that should be of concern to any website, and any content provider: It would grant the Attorney General the right to shut down offending websites with a court order if copyright infringement is judged to be “central to the activity” of that site.
Of particular concern to me is that the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) seems to be overly broad. A site need not contain illegal content: apparently links alone can qualify a site for “shut off.” I don’t know about you, but I sometimes embed links in some of my articles, as referencing other documents and policies – most if not all protected by copyrights. It helps to reinforce my content – that is, what I’m saying – and with proper acknowledgment, that should be ok. Ok? I think it still is… but every bill generally has unintended consequences…
It’s a scary thing in creating a hammer with a very broad head – it just might start smacking the wrong things. Web censorship is anathema to probably any reader here. Certainly offended parties can go after entities that are violating copyright… right? Do we need a huge government bill, granting the AG the power to snap off websites with a simple court order to the ISP? (Which is how this will be achieved).
I don’t support piracy and illegal activity. However, I’m not alone in my concerns: this bill is garnering concern from a number of people and agencies. You can Google to find more info and what the specific concerns are, but a primary one is that parties that are supposedly in offense of this act have no real opportunity to contest the AG’s allegations for unlawful content.
In effect, we’re censoring the web without something extraordinarily important, necessary, and… American: Due process.
I’d like to link to a couple articles regarding this, but I dunno… I’m not sure the present Attorney General is tech-savvy… maybe I’ll send him a copy of “I.T. WARS”… that should help. :^ ) I think it’s safe to link to my own copyrights…
NP: Hampton – Tatum – Rich, on vinyl, Pablo label; this jazz gem is from an August 1st, 1955 session. Catch it if you possibly can.