Brand new anti-piracy legislation placed before the US House of Representatives would allow copyright law to be used to shut down websites. Sites which include Wikileaks will be vulnerable, sparking fears the bill could be utilized to constrain free speech.
The bill, submitted on Wednesday, is addressed as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and will be assessed by the House Judiciary Committee on November 16.
If accepted, SOPA will enable individuals or organizations boasting copyright to effectively block any website they suspect of infringing on their very own rights. They will simply send claims to advertisers, payment services, search engines like google as well as internet service providers operating in the USA, who would stop engaging with the site at issue.
No court verdict would be necessary, and third parties could well be granted immunity from any reprisals due to their non-reflex steps against the alleged offenders. Not-for-profit websites wouldn’t be spared.
The lawmakers right behind the rogue websites bill say it will deal a strike to online pirates and makers of fake brand goods like designer fashion items or medicines, reports.
“The bill prevents on the internet thieves from selling counterfeited products in America, expands foreign security for intellectual property, and guards American consumers against harmful counterfeit items,” House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, proclaimed in an affirmation.
Howard Berman, a Democrat from California who co-sponsored the legislation, stated it is “a vital next step in the combat with digital robbery and communicates a solid message that the United States is not going to waiver in the battle to protect America’s creators and innovators.”
This position is just not shared by some human rights groups, unfortunately. The Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) states that the House bill “raises considerable red flags.
“It includes essentially the most controversial parts of the Senate’s Protect IP Act, but considerably increases its extent,” the CDT said inside a statement. “Any website that has user-generated content material or that enables cloud-based data storage could end up inside the crosshairs.
There are concerns that the legislation might be taken advantage of to gag political opponents. Just recently, the questionable whistleblower website WikiLeaks was forced to stop publishing fresh leaks due to the things they referred to as an unlawful financial blockage by settlement services and banking institutions. The move leaves open the potential for the US State Department copyrighting cables to grant them security under SOPA.