Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee

From Wired Magazine.

Who says Congress never gets anything done?
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that would give the Attorney General the right to shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed “central to the activity” of the site — regardless if the website has actually committed a crime. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is among the most draconian laws ever considered to combat digital piracy, and contains what some have called the “nuclear option,” which would essentially allow the Attorney General to turn suspected websites “off.”
Basically, suspicion of a crime is all it takes to shut down a business.  Because that’s what a website is for many people in the post-bust economy.  While the idea here is that it will only target illegal music and file sharing, the potential for this to be expanded to include all kinds of “intellectual privacy” issues is troublesome.  Post an article?  An unlicensed picture?  Bye-bye blog.

“Counterfeiting and online theft of intellectual property is having devastating effects on industries where millions of Americans make a living,” wrote Corallo, who now runs a Virginia-based public relations firm and freely admits that he has “represented copyright and patent-based businesses for years.” “Their futures are at risk due to Internet-based theft.”
The Recording Industry Association of America, which represents the major record labels, praised Leahy for his work, “to insure [sic] that the Internet is a civilized medium instead of a lawless one where foreign sites that put Americans at risk are allowed to flourish.”
Is it the artists who are really the ones losing our here?  Not really.  For decades the artists have been at the mercy of the distribution arm of the music industry…the record labels.  It’s no surprise that they are the ones behind this push.  There is a new generation of artists who are fleeing the monopoly control of the record companies and distributing directly to the consumer online.
Once again, Congress is doing the bidding of monied special interests.

Jason Rink is the Editor-in-Chief of The Liberty Voice. Executive Director of the Foundation for a Free Society. He is the producer and director of Nullification: The Rightful Remedy, and the author of “Ron Paul: Father of the Tea Party” the biography of Congressman Ron Paul. See more of his work at his writing at JasonRink.com and his film production work at FoundationMedia.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.