Biggest sites extend SOPA protest to try to stop Senate's Internet-censoring PIPA

Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, others to protest PIPA, ask users to tell Senate to cut it out


Usually that's a good thing. The House stirs things up so change is possible; the Senate slows change down to give national policy enough consistency to make a difference.

Years of legislator-herding by the music, movie and software publishing industries have maneuvered both the House and Senate into the same set of cattle chutes, which make the copyright debate seem simple by blocking off any point of view but the industry's and making movement in any choice of direction impossible.

PIPA is as bad on most fronts as SOPA

PIPA is identical in most ways to SOPA. The legislative differences are minimal, but debate over it in the Senate is likely to be less divisive and far less visible than the fight over SOPA was in the the crasser, more mercurial House.

So, even though SOPA has been shelved; even though its lead sponsor backed down from the bill's most egregious violations of the Constitution and common law; even though PIPA has been changed slightly to reflect some of the changes in SOPA, there is still a bill on Capitol Hill that will do the same kind of damage that SOPA would have.

PIPA will punish both foreign and domestic web sites for violating rules set by and for the recording, movie and software industries; it will make into law terms of use that have no moral or legal justification; and it will punish violators with no evidence they've done anything at all, that what they have done is illegal or that what they've done hurt anyone.

It will also confirm as law the opinion of a very small number of unrealistically self-important companies that whatever is good for them is good, period.

Give control over the Internet to people who sued a dead grandmother

Despite the minimal protection against false accusations for the accused, PIPA does nothing at all to penalize a copyright holder who falsely accuses a site of infringement.

Realistically that would be a minor drawback if SOPA and PIPA didn't rely on the likes of the MPAA and RIAA to make accusations only when the evidence is clear and decisive.

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