Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The COP Catch Up

The Big Chair felt just as comfortable as I left it this past weekend as I parachuted into "La-La Land" better known as Los Angeles, California. I was there for the winter board meeting of The National Association of Black and White Men Together and enjoying the company of the local chapter, BWMT-Southern California. I realized that it had been many years since being in that city and boy it was an eye opener to see that this city has become a behemoth of urban growth, expansion and blight. I had heard about the traffic mayhem, but to witness it first hand as we whizzed down the I-405 during Friday night rush hour was amazing. I'll take Little Rock's stop and go traffic mash-up any day compared to the 6 lane speed bowl of any Los Angeles expressway. In the meantime, there was much going on in the city just short of my weekend romp and even though COP 24/7 travels with me on all my excursions, often I just don't have time to post but I certainly make lots of notes to remind me just where we left off. The in-box was stuffed full and it took me some time to sift through and filter everything that came through. Whew! What an avalanche of mail, offers, updates and spam to look over and make any sense of. However, it comes with the territory and what would I do if I didn't stay connected to the info loop. With that said, lets not waste another moment in doing a COP 24/7 Catch Up...

The Internet Interlopers Rise

Since we live in a capitalistic society, it inevitable that almost everything that comes around finds itself being under the pressure to be "capitalized" by some one or something. The "war of the world" of the Internet has been brewing since its inception and now we find forces that are in motion to do what they can to do a power grab with proposed congressional legislation in which they can bridle or better yet garner castrating leverage over who, what and how the Internet will exist in regards to content and offending websites. COP 24/7 has a vested interest in this dog fight due to the fact that I use content from various sources including images, video, and attributed copy to which I could find myself in a cease and desist situation depending on who's looking. Also as a content creator, my own original content could become a flash point if for some reason my content ended up on another site that may involved in some questionable circumstances . When I access content I usually make sure to cite its author, aggregated, link or source as to inform my readers to its origins. Who's kicking up the dust this time out? Its' those entertainment industry folks who are attempting to substantiate their revenue streams with the premise that much of their content is being pirated although copyrighted. I agree that their is some nefarious activity going on, "hello, you guys in the convenience store parking lot who have the latest DVD hot off the press." Its' illegal guys for you to selling content that doesn't belong to you. I don't think that this heavy handed legislation is necessary especially since much of it sounds like governmental legalese, and nebulous gobbly gook that I don't think anybody really has clear understanding of. In other words, it's more bad policy and law making that could cause us more problems than we already have with the Internet. COP 24/7 will sign on to the protest that SOPA and PIPA are twin headed gargoyles that will take end users onto the slippery slope of outright censorship from those who want to put the Internet in box for their own purposes. We are posting the following information for your consideration. We do not want this new medium to become decapitated and gutted for the profits of a few. This information can be found at: www.sopablackout.org

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.


What is SOPA?

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, H.R. 3261) is on the surface a bill that attempts to curb online piracy. Sadly, the proposed way it goes about doing this would devastate the online economy and the overall freedom of the web. It would particularly affect sites with heavy user generated content. Sites like Youtube, Reddit, Twitter, and others may cease to exist in their current form if this bill is passed.

What is PIPA?

The Protect IP Act (PIPA, S. 968) is SOPA's twin in the Senate. Under current DMCA law, if a user uploads a copyrighted movie to sites like Youtube, the site isn't held accountable so long as they provide a way to report user infringement. The user who uploaded the movie is held accountable for their actions, not the site. PIPA would change that - it would place the blame on the site itself, and would also provide a way for copyright holders to seize the site's domain in extreme circumstances.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation laid out four excellent points as to why the bills are not only dangerous, but are also not effective for what they are trying to accomplish:
  • The blacklist bills are expensive. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that PIPA alone would cost the taxpayers at least $47 million over 5 years, and could cost the private sector many times more. Those costs would be carried mostly by the tech industry, hampering growth and innovation.
  • The blacklist bills silence legitimate speech. Rightsholders, ISPs, or the government could shut down sites with accusations of infringement, and without real due process.
  • The blacklist bills are bad for the architecture of the Internet. But don't take our word for it: see the open letters that dozens of the Internet's concerned creators have submitted to Congress about the impact the bills would have on the security of the web.
  • The blacklist bills won't stop online piracy. The tools these bills would grant rightsholders are like chainsaws in an operating room: they do a lot of damage, and they aren't very effective in the first place. The filtering methods might dissuade casual users, but they would be trivial for dedicated and technically savvy users to circumvent.
  • COP 24/7 will be dark on Wednesday(1/18/12) in support of rejecting this legislation and all attempts to over regulate the Internet.

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