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Anorak | SOPA and PIPA: When lending is a thought crime and theft is ok

SOPA and PIPA: When lending is a thought crime and theft is ok

by | 19th, January 2012

THE Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are not universally popular. Neither SOPA nor PIPA are all that close to be cemented in law. Right now they look like bad Bills that seek to turn us the consumers into thieves who need to prove our innocence.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) are a response to lobbying by the entertainment industries upset at websites publishing their content for free. The Bills seek to kill file sharing sites that push content illegally. Offline this is called fencing stolen goods. Should the online world be different to the offline world? Is freedom of information on the internet something else, to cherish and foster? But can’t you pass on a book or magazine you bought or a DVD you rented to a friend? Can you download a song from a cousin’s collection? Is that theft?

One other thing: if you look at a photograph of a naked child in a book on a shelf have you downloaded it, like a paedophile? Are you a thief for downloading a song, or for listening to one on a friend’s player? Is the unique thing about the internt that it leaves an evidence trail? If you heard or saw what you did not pay for what was shared have you committed a thought crime? If you are a creator and some part of that shared song or book affected your thinking, are you a thief who needs to pay royalties to your inspiration?

But that is not all. The Bills would make it illegal for any US-based internet service providers, advertisers and payment processors from working with the outlawed sites even if they are based abroad.

Wikipedia went dark in protest but

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Posted: 19th, January 2012 | In: Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink