Does the entertainment industry have reason to complain?
// Posted by Kelsey on 01/20/2012 (11:58 PM)
The backlash over SOPA/PIPA is nothing new, however it seems to be the most potent protest that internet copyright laws have seen. To fully understand what the entertainment industry is asking it would seem logical to mention and explain the current copyright laws. Laws include the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and the No Electronic Theft Act
The DMCA says
- It is a civil offense if you even try to bypass copyright devices
- Harsher penalties for copyright infractions
- Illegal to make technologies capable of pirating videos (even if that is not the intention of the device)
- Holds users responsible, not Internet Service Providers(ISP)
- However, the ISP must immediately block access to the content in question. Otherwise they can be held responsible
- ISPs will also be held accountable for what their users post
- If copyrighted information is sent your access to the internet could be cancelled
- To prevent the above monitoring of those who purchase copyrighted material will be increased
- Purchased content under copyright cannot be shared with anyone since you are the only one who paid for it.
- Applies in the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea.
- Allows for criminal prosecution of individuals who have infringed on a copyright regardless of whether or not it has been used for financial gain. (5 years in prison/$250,000 in fees)
Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect IP Act
- Anyone found streaming copyrighted content without permission 10 or more times within six months should face up to five years in prison.
- Websites could be sued for “enabling or facilitating” piracy. Which is where the risk of an entire website being shut down is found because it contains a link to a suspected site.
- Advertisers could be outlawed from doing business with alleged copyright infringers. SOPA also calls for search engines to remove infringing sites from their results, PIPA does not include this
- Outlaw sites from containing information about how to access blocked sites.
So, the internet changing as we know it may not be such an outlandish claim. The interesting thing is that most of the entertainment company’s copyright issues are with websites run in foreign countries. Call me crazy but I don’t think our laws apply in foreign countries making all of this a moot point in the first place. Granted, theft in any case needs to be dealt with but these laws are the wrong way to go about it as puts our freedom of speech at too great a risk. Plus, the legal actions to be taken when copyright is infringed upon, are already quite effective at both removing content and punishing those who broke the law they just need to be enforced, megaupload being a prime example. It may be frank to say but, it seems that the entertainment industry needs to suck it up and stick with the protective laws they already have and leave the freedom of the internet alone.