For those living in surrealist Belgium, who think it is the only country were they can create ludicrous laws and force on silly regulations, they should look aver the borders and see what is going on there.
I have been lucky to be able to work in Great-Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada and I am now having to cope in this Venice of the North marsh. Each of those countries had their own peculiarities, and in some of them there where regulations or things which could get some one into the trees. Everywhere were some one lives there is something to react against. Every country has its good things as well as its bad things. Absurdities can be found in many places and in many circumstances.
What is so funny about Belgium with its different cultures and four mini states in one incoherent state, that everybody manages to create his or her own empire with their own adapted rules to manage to survive. The only problem of the last few years is that an attitude has grown of ‘the fittest and strongest first’ and ‘everybody for his own’. There is not much solidarity found in this wet cold country.
But many are very handy to escape or to ignore the many many laws. There are too many regulations so that it becomes nearly impossible to cope with them all. And we can notice that there is no real control about the fulfilment of those regulations and those people not living according the law, often can escape any fine or penalty, either because they are not given, not collected, or the prisons are to full to be imprisoned, so lots of criminals stay free and continue to do their criminal acts, and those in prison can still continue their crimes even safer from the closed environment off the prison with their computer and internet connection (while they get free hotel service.). (If it was not reality this would have been a good joke.)
For years there have been laws on copyright, which could be taken care off. In our country they are often very absurd. When you go to see your a general practitioner and you can hear some music in the waiting room, the GP has to pay an extra fee of copyrights for playing the music in a ‘public space’, when you enter his cabinet and you would hear there music playing as well, he has once more to pay an extra fee, for the second room, on top of the copyrights he pas already for having the music by radio for example in his house. This makes that when you enter in a hospital, in nearly every room you enter you often can hear different music, because they use the computer to let the music stream in, and by doing so they only have to pay the copyrights only for the serving company, when every doctor uses the pc in that appropriate room only.
A few years ago, when there was an uprising of the Muslim community in Antwerp, the government wanted to shut down Facebook and Twitter and several telephone operators, because the Muslim fanatics got each other called up by mms and sms. Again when the Indignados and the Occupy movement found each other on the social networks and got so a lot more people connected and prepared to come joining the protest marches. For the Belgian government this was a clear sign that they should be able to shut down any social network and telephone company when such revolt occurred ones more.
You could think this would be only possible in such a small country which was not so keen on free speech as it should be. Today we also hear from over the Big Ocean that a country which claims to be The Country of Free Speech that the government wants to limit that freedom by being totally master over the internet.
In that country they also do have already several copyright laws, as in Belgium, which in case they would use them properly they could already limit those wrongdoers they aim at in the so called SOPA and the PROTECT IP act. It sounds unbelievable in the country where so many died to get to the freedom of speech, but this new (superfluous) act would give governments and corporations the power to take down entire websites over infringing posts by users, endangering the internet as we know it.
In the years that Country of green pastures and of which many dreamed (and still dream) to go to to have a better life, many common citizen finds themselves now drowning in debt, unable to pay for health care, clothing, food or even education. They are the ‘lost generation’ of a country who has taken the choice just to go for capital and economic interest. The human person has not been of much count in that United States of America. For years people were used by their employers just to fill their pockets. And when it got a president with an interest for the weaker ones, willing to take care of their health, this man of the people got a lot of resistance.
The same as what happened in Belgium, the greed and selfishness has taken over common sense.
An American Mother, looking for truth not usually found on news, who tells her children to not believe everything they hear is one of those endangered species, because her government wants all the people just to hear and to do what they want them to hear and to do. Though she can try to get her children to look up as much as they can, and to compare all those sayings, those who want to tell something could be shut down, because the opponents made sure that the servers would be shut down. Even when it would be on false accusations they shall have their gain by a blocking of the other party under the new SOPA and the PROTECT IP act.
The Left libertarian Eating liberty may be disappointed in unions who secretly sleep with their capitalist bed fellows, and be not the only one, because in many so called civilised countries that is what those unionleaders took care off (their own position and pay-check).Has “The Constitution of Liberty” just become a fictional book by Austrian economist and Nobel Prize recipient Friedrich A. Hayek, or a farce? Was it not the supreme law of the United States of America which came into existence because the states were proving inadequate to the requirements of sovereignty in a confederation and the Barbary Pirates began seizing American commercial ships? As well as the vision of a “respectable nation” among nations that seemed to be fading in the eyes of revolutionaries such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Rufus King. But is it not this dream of a republic, a nation without hereditary rulers, with power derived from the people in frequent elections, that is also in doubt when everything continues to go the way as it has the locomotive rolling now?
Enlightenment thinkers John Locke and the brilliant Montesquieu had perhaps marvellous ideas which the United States want to adapt, but USA has driven far apart.
Is it not that in the American Constitution is written that the Government’s duty in a social contract with the sovereign people was to serve them by protecting their rights? And did those rights not include Free Speech?
In that bill is also pointed out that the people are to be provided justice, civil peace, common defense, and those things of a general welfare that they could not provide themselves. Is general knowledge not such a thing which is at stake today? Because the internet, at last, has become more available to more people, and could deliver books and full libraries from all over the world at your doorstep in a few minutes. Several works of clear minds could not reach other people somewhere in the world when the internet way would be shut down.
The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Normally the western world would have hold to that idea, but now it opened the doors to give those who want to limit others a ‘sword’ to get them inactive for some time. It would facilitate the rival to accuse him of literary piracy, copyright infringement, dishonourable or seditious writings, making that the government would shut down that competition.
I do agree we do have to stop Online Piracy, but we should be careful how far we want to draw the line. In case a person places a photograph of a person, dressed in a design suit and in front of a monument, a statue or picture, the copyright office can not demand that copyrights have to be paid to the dress designer, the owner of the monument, or the copyrightowners of the statue or of the picture. Traditional family photographs could not any more be placed on own websites. The owners should also not forget that the picture with their design or monument can bring honour to their creation as well and get them be known by more people. The tourism sector shall receive a lot of counter reaction and loss of interest on the internet. This shall damage tourism, the places but also the hotels and restaurants in the area. Some politicians do not seem to look beyond their nose.
The world may also not be blind that certain persons are eager to get full control over the internet, for their own benefit. Media giants shall be standing in the first row. (Think of News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch who seems to have spent enough money on Washington lobbyists who are intent on passing laws to undermine the Internet’s open architecture.)
According to one of its founders, Sir Tim Berners Lee, the Internet’s original architecture was guided by a powerful concept: “that any person could share information with anyone else, anywhere. In this spirit, the Web spread quickly from the grassroots up.”
Let us be therefore thankful for those who made internet and electronic data transfer possible and work on it that more people shall be able to have the pleasures of a world of information lying at their feet.
By wanting to cash too much those in charge are probably going to miss the boat and instead of bring the wrongdoers in hot water, they shall hurt the ordinary citizen and drive several server companies undeserved on the wall.
There are enough known (smart), targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet. Making them accountable for the content someone has placed on his or her site or social platform would be endangering the whole system.
The anti-piracy tactics envisioned by the bill would bring about widespread censorship of legitimate content and hamper important cybersecurity measures.
According many Tech experts giving the U.S. government such power to shut down websites or even more dangerous networks could hinder the functionality of many web applications, severing the connection between domain URLs and numerical data addresses that many programs rely on. It would also hamper efforts to introduce a new security system known as DNSSEC, which national security programmers have been developing for years.
As many years ago a paper was been written for the rejection of unfair taxes, we also have to be careful that today we are not going to face again serious unfair and exaggerated taxes. Every man Jack should be able to get on the free way of the internet highway being able to share his tits and tats with family, acquaintances, friends and even strangers far far away. All the world and his wife should be able to present their views and comments on what happens in the world.
By stopping a person’s mouth the United States are not as such going to protect their citizens. Instead they shall take away one of the fundamentals of democratic thinking and democratic sharing.
Everything in this world is around us because it is allowed by the Creator to be there. We are tenants in this world, and those who have more knowledge than others should be pleased that they can share it with others. Though some do not like it we should grow more to a community who wants to share everything with each other. We all should try to work at it so that many, not to say all, can get real happiness.
As Eatingliberty says: “We are each of us free, in need of the basics to live, and bound in common by our Constitution. It is time to climb out of this rabbit hole of deceptions and let our voice, the voice of the citizen to be heard. We must not sit at the table nor play croquet as they command, as Alice said of the Queens Croquet game.”
Are we prepared to grow up and to help each other to grow more wise, with good sense of open minds willing to share their knowledge and creations?
Please do read:
Learn more over realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity. > Creative commons
Read in Dutch / Lees in het Nederlands:
- SOPA Outside The U.S.: What it Means for The Rest of The World (const4ntinos.com)
PIPA and SOPA will not stop piracy. There are ways around DNS blocking, and piracy will persist. In truth, the entertainment companies already have the power to fight piracy. They can get a video taken off of YouTube. They can sue companies using their intellectual property without permission. SOPA and PIPA were created to give the media companies the ability to target and take-down previously untouchable foreign piracy sites by blocking their domain and cutting off their revenue. But it includes loopholes that, when abused (consciously or not), would allow the government to effectively censor the internet. This effect would be far-reaching, and would have global ramifications.
Monkey see, monkey do.
Don’t think this will stop in America; there are equally large and powerful entertainment companies around the globe. If the United States can pass internet censorship laws like SOPA and PIPA, intellectual property protection will become a major part of U.S. foreign policy, and you better believe other countries will follow suit. The internet will look different in every country, and free expression online will cease to exist. Think about how much closer together the world is now that we can all communicate online? Now imagine if that went away? There are government’s out there that will abuse this power far worse than the United States would.
- SOPA and PIPA Blackouts (biodork.wordpress.com)
- Stop SOPA / PIPA (popbytes.com)
- What is SOPA? What is PROTECT IP? How SOPA and PIPA might affect you? (socialnetworkinglab.com)
- SOPA & PIPA pt. 2 (chunterfactor.wordpress.com)
The Internet is an international treaty. Although the computers that make up the Internet are under the jurisdiction of many different countries, and particular parts of its network are governed by these countries’ laws, the Internet in its entirety belongs to the whole world and is without precedent.
- SOPA and Protect IP (metousiosis.com)
According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year — that’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.
– My remark: Would the American government not better use all that money for better things and use a little bit of it to use and react appropriate at the already existing copyright laws?
- On Censorship: Millions Say No To SOPA & PIPA… (eof737.wordpress.com)
it would be wise for our Representatives in Congress to focus their efforts on ensuring that all of us have a place to sleep and food to eat. Censorship is not the answer.
- #SOPA, #PIPA, #Blackout of the Web. (theagorawake.com)
I definitely hope that this even wakes up the American people – showing them that they need to become more aware of what is going on in their government.
- Internet community on strike! (filipinoscribbles.wordpress.com)
And I remember a few years ago from my Dubai-based friend Weirdonextdoor that she could not access my Spanish blog from there! I wonder what legal or perhaps moral issues blogger.com(my Spanish website’s host) may have with the UAE’s top honchos. However, I’m not really sure now if blogger.com is still banned from that Middle Eastern country.But my point back then is this: if governments can block websites from being visited by its citizens, then why couldn’t our own do the same with porn sites? I thought it was a splendid idea.
- SOPA, PIPA, Righthaven, NewsRight – and Going Dark (pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com)
– A reader (ondelette ) hits the nail on the head saying: ” But once a server or service provider begins to make judgments about the content, becoming a smart pipe, it is responsible for any and all content that flows through its pipe, and can be sued for its presence and for damages for the injury that the content might cause.”
- We’re sorry, you’re not allowed to read this. (const4ntinos.com)
Nestle’s Kit Kat brand famously failed when they attempted to have our spoof video featuring their brand — and critical of their support for rainforest destruction — removed from YouTube for trademark violation. Hundreds of our supporters reposted the video on other sites and their own Facebook profiles.Eventually, YouTube’s lawyers intervened and the video was restored. Under SOPA, YouTube *itself* could have been shut down for hosting our Kit Kat video. Facebook could have gone dark for hosting supporter samizdat. Greenpeace.org would have gone dark worldwide. And Kit Kat owner Nestle never would have been compelled by our supporters and their customers to revise their policy on palm oil procurement, a move which has struck a major blow to an industry which is mowing down orang-utan habitat in Indonesia to plant palm trees.
- A Message About SOPA (chronowerx.wordpress.com)
If you think US law relating to the Internet still doesn’t affect you, you need only look at the case of Richard O’Dwyer, a British Citizen who created a website called TVShack. This website held a comprehensive index of TV Shows, synopsis and reviews along with links to other websites where you could download the shows. It’s important to note that Richard, and his website do not infringe copyright at all. (The website he’s linking to is most likely the copyright infringer).Richard is being threatened with extradition to the US over the alleged violations of US copyright law even though he is a British Citizen who lives in the UK and everything he did was on servers based in the UK, and those servers did not even host the copy-written material. There shouldn’t even be a case against him, let alone being extradited to US.Do you think a British Citizen will get a fair trial in America at a time when they’re attempting to enhance their copyright laws? – (No, neither do I).
- SOPA Might Be Bad Policy, but It’s Not Censorship (blogs.sfweekly.com)
Both bills are complex, but there are two major points to understand about SOPA and PIPA:1. Neither bill infringes on free speech. Rather, they make it illegal for American websites to drive business to other websites that have broken the law by stealing and purveying copyrighted material. That means no more links to or ads for thieving websites, and no more hosting of stolen content.
The argument that regulations preventing companies from engaging in or directly aiding criminal conduct would be so costly that they would impair the vital services these companies provide. The tech giants might be right. But their complaint is more reminiscent of BP than of Thomas Paine.
- SOPA in a Nutshell? (awritablelife.wordpress.com)
the act encourages Internet services to voluntarily offer up violating websites and thus garner immunity against prosecution for their own involvement with the offender. This basically sums up the proposal to the best of my understanding.
if one Facebook page violates copyright law, the entire site would be in danger of prosecution. If one YouTube video violates copyright law, the entire site would be in danger, and so forth and so on. In addition, the bills impact free speech of the search engines, advertisers, and domain name providers as well.
- Americans, tell your Congress reps to vote against the SOPA and PIPA bills (thebovine.wordpress.com)
- Protect the Internet – Stop SOPA (marketing-optimist.com)
- Dead On Arrival: SOPA Shelved Indefinitely, Obama Succumbs to Pressure, Issues Official Veto Threat – LEWROCKWELL.COM – Mac Slavo (infowebstorm.com)
The scariest part of the legislation, as Daisy points out above, is that due process would have been eliminated (just like in the NDAA), forcing internet providers, search engines and ad networks to simply shut down a web site(s) based on just the complaintant’s accusations, leaving those web site owners who were shut down to deal with the fallout with costly legal expenses and lengthy court battles.You may recall that in 2010 the government shut down 73,000 web sites in exactly this manner. Though the owners of the majority of the targeted sites were not technically infringing copyrights, some were linking to other sites that did, making them an accessory.
- Freedom Isn’t Free: Protect the Internet (theonlinephotographer.typepad.com)
- Is SOPA Internet Censorship and a Threat to Free Speech? (blogcritics.org)
- Screenshots Of SOPA/ PIPA Website Protests (techfleece.com)
- Down With Sopa/pipa (thewaterraidersofcp.wordpress.com)