SOPA fight heats up

by Walter Olson on December 29, 2011

Brad Plumer in the Washington Post summarizes the provisions of the bill as well as the state of play on it in Congress as of mid-month. Although much commentary has assumed that persons determined to visit blocked sites could readily find ways around the SOPA restrictions, David Post notes that the draft bill authorizes the Attorney General to seek injunctions against persons who assist in circumventing the law, which might include websites that publish “here’s how to evade SOPA blocking” information. Timothy Lee at ArsTechnica notes growing opposition to the bill among conservatives, while Joshua Kopstein at Motherboard reviews a comic markup session. Meanwhile, “Gibson Guitar & Others On SOPA Supporters List Say They Never Supported The Bill” [Mike Masnick, TechDirt] Earlier here and here.

{ 3 comments }

1 Hugo S. Cunningham 12.29.11 at 12:37 pm

I have sympathy for artists being deprived of their living, but ask in return help for the broader “progress of science and useful arts.”

(1) The “nuclear” enforcement capabilities of SOPA should be restricted to works published within the last 14 years (the original copyright term, devised within the spirit of the Constitutional copyright clause). That is when most of the wealth for authors is generated.

(2) In return for SOPA, clarifications should be made on behalf of the creative commons, eg.
(a) Bona-fide search databases (eg. Google and various libraries) are not copyright infringements.
(b) Legal risk should be removed from republication of works with “orphaned copyright.” If a valid copyright-holder should later turn up, he would be paid on the principle of “quantum meruit” (a reasonable proportion of the profits from republication), rather than “punitive damages to deter infringement.”
(b) preserving documentary films that include small expired-licence excerpts shall not be punished as copyright infringement. (If a valid copyright claimant should turn up, he can be paid on a modest “quantum meruit” basis.)

2 gitarcarver 12.29.11 at 9:26 pm

Hugo,

I to have sympathy for artists whose works are stolen. If I thought SOPA and Protect IP would help the artists, I would be for it.

Fines won’t go to the artists. Even in cases where the RIAA has won, the judgment money went to the RIAA, and not to the artists.

Frankly, “it’s for the artists” is the equivalent of “its for the kids.”

3 POed 12.29.11 at 10:18 pm

If you believe the Lamar pack of lies, I have a bridge for sale at a real bargain. Like homeland security is only for terrorists, when there are 70,000 government spies in the US spying on our citizens. The government lies, and lies and lies and is actually run by lobbyists. Otherwise known as graft, which is illegal, but law is only for the 99% as we all know.

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