SOPA supporters block tech industry advocates from speaking at hearing

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) goes several steps too far in fighting piracy. And the tech industry is being stopped from speaking to the Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, November 16th.

Organized by the “copyright cartel” of record companies and Hollywood studios, SOPA and their supporters aim to stop piracy by making it a simple process to severely curtail every website that links to a site that may distribute copyrighted material. Yes, you read that right. If a comment below put a link to Pirate Bay, copyright holders could force payment processors and advertising networks to stop working with this website. No payments and no advertising means exactly what you think it means. How much time does a website have to comply after a complaint? Five days.

The issue today is not the overly broad, badly written bill that could stop free speech on the Web, but the fact that the head of NetCoalition, expected to give the industry's side of the story during the hearing, has been denied a chance to speak. No doubt someone will raise some vague issues of concern about the bill, but not someone knowledgeable and well versed in Web copyright abuses through bills such as the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).

Not playing fair

the internet doesn't forget, but the internet isn't paying them :(.

robin on

The tech industry is the source of the problem, according to our elected officials and the content cartels they represent. Of course they wouldn't be allowed to speak.

noworknetwork on

This legislation is indefensible; even in a diluted form it will almost certainly have a disproportionately chilling effect on innovation in one of the most vibrant sectors of our economy.

snsr on

While I'm against pirating material, uploading a video onto YouTube is not justification for the government to hand the big corporations a regulatory monopoly over the internet. SOPA is an invitation to abuse of power.

Michael on

Some like the bill

Yet again, what you mis-term "tech" or "wider internet", or "entrepreneurs", or whatever, those are the people who for the last decade or so have been GRIFTING off Big Media, or whatever pejorative you like, the ones who /actually/ produce the content. Yes, SOPA upsets the grifters who try to leverage "content" without paying for it. That's as it should be.

out_of_the_blue on

In a one panel hearing, the majority typically gets 3 guests and the minority gets 1 guest. The problem is that the Republicans and Democrats are both in lust with the money and power these groups have to offer.

HatePlusPlus on

I'm inclined to go with Hanlon's Razor on the subject. No dark conspiracy, just a ruling class of executives and politicians that happen to be very greedy and very, very stupid.

Anonymous Coward on

Time for a revolution?

I'm just noting that this bill is for the corporations by the corporations. It's not for the public. The public doesn't want this bill anymore than it wants 95+ year copy protection laws.

Anonymous Coward on

Immoral laws, in the end, require the sanction of the victim. ALL it would take is the ISPs to shut down for a day, or two, saying that they don't recognize the right of Congress to tell them how to use their property. It'd be game over, right there - people would be too pissed.

jadecristal on

It's cute that people still get worked up about stuff like this, as though they're honestly surprised that legislators are bought and sold.

duncan_bayne on

How long before we find a middle ground that protects content without destroying the Internet? When Hollywood and the record companies wise up? More fun: Wednesday is American Censorship Day.

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