American Censorship Day sees old media ads about new media restrictions

Credit: flickr/Joe Shlabotnik

New media giants Google, Facebook, Zynga, and more put a full page ad in the New York Times today to lobby against the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill going through Congress. A newspaper ad to protect the Web? Interesting.

As discussed before, SOPA, if passed, will allow anyone who believes they own copyrighted material offered illegally on the Web to demand the material be taken down within five days. If not, the website will be cut off from financial transactions (credit card income etc), advertising networks, and can even be deleted from the DNS servers. Penalties for abuse by the copyright holders, like when Warner Brothers demanded take down thousands of files not owned or controlled by Warner Brothers? No mention.

While it's good to see Google et al put their concerns on a page of the New York Times, it appears old-fashioned political lobbying by the music and movies companies has completely overwhelmed the technology industry. The sponsors of the bill are touting this as a way to protect jobs, while opponents point out the entire Web economy would never have developed under such restrictions. Worse, if SOPA passes with its vague language, the relatively small amount of music and film jobs (potentially) saved will pale beside the number of jobs lost as the Web (potentially) grinds to a halt.

Advice for the tech guys

Microsoft and Apple should've gotten in on this too.

Graysmith on

mainly non-web technology companies that sell expensive products and are worried about piracy or counterfeiting of those products: Oracle, Microsoft, Adobe, Intuit, Symantec, etc. Conversely, they don't run user-generated-content sites like YouTube or Facebook, so aren't worried about the problems with weakening safe harbors.

_delirium on

If that is the kind of ads tech giants make, then we have all lost. This needs more Don Draper and less wall of text. It needs to tell a compelling story with a righteous underdog fighting the good fight which would be squashed if this law passes. It needs to paint anybody who support it as a traitor to America(TH). And it needs to rebrand it the "Killing the American Dream Act" so that nobody can politically afford to support it.

tomjen3 on

Not to mention, SOPA is completely useless. Just use a proxy server or Seed Box in another country and viola, have access to all that content.

chrisp339 on

The tech industry has enough money to buy 10x more lobbyists than the entertainment industry. This would be a wiser investment than the ads.

protomyth on

Why doesn't google man-up and put this information on their home page?

O1justino1 on

SOPA doom and gloom

Microsoft through their lobbying arm at the Business Software Association are lobbying FOR the motion.

r4vi on

Of course the government wants the ability to block internet websites. The internet offers the organizational mechanisms to take down entire governments! They're scared to death!!!

Art on

Don't overlook this…

Most people don't realize that the Music Industry and Motion Picture industries are tiny little industries compared with the size of the economy. So what they're basically asking for is the entire internet be turned upside down to increase their profits. Don't let all the highfalutin' rhetoric about jobs, and threats to our economy fool you; this is purely about the record and movie industries looking to improve their bottom line by decreasing everybody's freedom and basically screwing up the internet (which they hate).

Ombudsman1 on

Free markets are supposed to prevent overpricing. For free market purests this bill is an attempt at government pricefixing. But even to free market purists if you can get the government to help you beat your competition then you lobby to pass the legislation. The hypocracy surrounding discussions of free markets and the government are delightfull lessons in irrational thinking.

dguy3 on

Guess all the noise about newspapers being dead might have been a bit premature. But why was their no URL in the ad for more information?

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