Wednesday, January 18, 2012

// // 4 comments

SOPA – PIPA

Two laws are before the United States Congress that will make posting on the Internet much more risky.  They will allow any company that wishes to claim ANY content of your website is their intellectual property to be immediately knocked offline.

It’s especially targeted at websites that are operated outside the United States.

While we are a tiny website on the Internet, not only could we be targeted by such claims we HAVE been targeted by such claims.  Some of our videos have been claimed by others (for having bits of background music, which we use in short clips to be legal “fair use” – but that’s irrelevant under current law which allows others to claim and forces us to fight to return our rights), while others have grabbed our pictures and content (even magazines which have printed them), but we’re too little to have recourse.

The new proposed laws give so much power to the claimants that should they pass, that the big black box above is exactly how Mystical Paths may look in the future.

How could SOPA and PIPA hurt Mystical Paths?
SOPA and PIPA are a threat to our blog in many ways. For example, in its current form, SOPA would require us to actively monitor every site we link to, to ensure it doesn't host infringing content. Any link to an infringing site could put us in jeopardy of being forced offline.  For a small site like us, that’s impossible!
I live in the United States. What's the best way for me to help?
The most effective action you can take is to call your representatives and tell them you oppose SOPA and PIPA, and any similar legislation. Type your zipcode in the locator box to find your representatives' contact information. Text-based communication is okay, but phone calls have the most impact.
I don't live in the United States. How can I help?
Contact your local State Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or similar branch of government. Tell them you oppose SOPA and PIPA, and any similar legislation. SOPA and PIPA will affect sites outside of the United States, and actions to sites inside the United States (like Wikipedia) will also affect non-American readers -- like you. Calling your own government will also let them know you don't want them to create their own bad anti-Internet legislation.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Could this become the long-awaited cure to prevent the internet addiction of frum people?

Neshama said...

Could you give us a sample post pre-SOPAPIPA and a hypothetical AFTER-sopapipa?

Akiva said...

The way the law is phrased, if Mystical Paths linked (in a blogroll or as a source) to any site that was accused of (not proven or convicted of) sharing any form of any copyrighted information, then Mystical Paths could be taken offline.

This threat would mean we could no longer link to ANYONE.

Then, anyone could easily claim that what today is 'fair use', taking a bit of an article or reference from somewhere, was actually infringing their copyright. For which Mystical Paths could be taken offline. Meaning we could no longer quote any article from anywhere at risk of being taken offline.

Any videos we made could not include any bits of music (fair use or mix-into-something-new). We could even be at risk for quoting something from a copyrighted book, such as the Rebbe's commentary on a parsha.

IF we were accused of any of those things, Google would be required to delist us, Paypal to close our charity account, and Blogads to remove our ability to post ads. All that WITHOUT court order, just by some organization CLAIMING IT and the government accepting the claim (not judging it, just filing it).

We would then be responsible to legally defend against the claim, which of course we could not afford.

Shiloh said...

What a nice way to control thought and keep the sheeple on their agenda. What can be done to stop it, short term stop this bill, long term they will get their way anyways. You know, they really are out to get us.

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