As a young entrepreneur I think legislation like this is very horrible. I don’t normally go in to politics but i want to speak out on this. But basically from the understanding the RIAA, MPAA or other similar mafia groups will have some government website where they can go to and add a website to a blacklist which then is blocked in the US by the DNS. No trial or due process. What ever happened to the constitution? Has any of the corrupt lawyers and politicians writing this legislation read the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution?
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Well copyright infringement is mostly a civil issue but this seems to make it more of a criminal issue. Lets travel back to January 19, 2007 where Justin Bieber sings So Sick by Ne-yo and posted it to YouTube. If he was living in the united states and this was law that cute kid everyone loves would end up in JAIL or maybe I would also for linking to it. Very bad idea.
Watch the video by Fight for the Future below to watch an entertaining video about it. Better than me trying to explain it.
PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.
So as a young entrepreneur lets say I built a social network, shopping platform or anything that allows anyone to upload content could get shutdown instantly just because of one piece of infringing content. Whatever I build would already have a policy against copyright Infringement and allow a copyright holder to flag the content via a “report” link to file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) so we will remove it. So what would websites like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace or my own do? Well Google who owns YouTube already has Content ID. Sometimes people find a way to bypass it. Like I heard it only checks the first 30 seconds but it seems like awesome technology. Not every company or person will have the know how or resources to build a content ID type system to protect them. So they could hire a whole team of people to approve all content before being posted and if the content seems like someone elses copyrighted work make them submit documentation proving they can upload it before making it public. That will be costly and time consuming which makes it out of the question for a young entrepreneur like me. Would slow down discussing and free speech. Can you imagine a Twitter conversation or chat room where each thing someone says have to be approved and approval isn’t instant? That would basically break the conversation it seems. So basically this would hinder me starting a start up. I mean I could start it but it has a high risk of being shutdown because user uploaded content. I can’t control what people upload or post but having the tools to be notified and removing content I think is the best way to battle it. That’s how its being done now and it seems to work. It looks like certain groups of people just want more power over the internet.
So if i could not start a startup but technology still interested me. I would most likely have to work for a major company like Google who has the money and large amounts of people to fight this. Also more and more people would only be working for big companies since start ups are basically out of the question if this becomes law. So then no startups and all major companies not having much hiring room left due to a big amount of engineers not having jobs already taking the jobs. Then the rest will have to find something else to do and also maybe no one will even try to study or focus on learning computer science due to not having a job out of it. This legislation will ruin a whole industry. The technology industry seems to be the only industry that seems to be doing good in this horrible economy. So in theory the financial motivations of a few groups could turn america in to Rome.
I’m not a lawyer or anything like that and I have no interest in being a lawyer. Sorry if this post seems a bit ranty it seems. But this legislation really worries me. If this passes I have no hope anymore. I should just give up and commit suicide. Nothing left for me anymore it seems if this happens. Maybe other people will do the same. Lots of jobs and money to be lost, lots of companies to be destroyed and a lot of broken dreams to be created if this passes. Do you want this to happen? People need to work hard to stop this and the people involved in the government need to really think hard about this legislation. Do you want to do good or bad to the people not the select interest groups who put faith in you? Do you know what this will do overall?
To learn more check out http://americancensorship.org