SOPA: Entire Internet protests ‘Internet Censorship Bill’

This is how the U.S. government wants to treat you, say SOPA critics.

A Congressional bill intended to fight piracy is drawing fire from the
Internet establishment, who say it would put the United States on a path to Chinese-style repression.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (known as the PROTECT IP Act in its Senate form) would allow the government to force Internet service providers to deny service to web sites that host pirated material — even if those sites were hosted overseas. The bill is the result of heavy lobbying by the entertainment industry.

From Reuters:

Intended to combat the trade in pirated movies and music, the two bills would give copyright holders and law enforcement officials added powers to cut off websites and require search engines, payment collectors and others to block access.

Under the proposed House bill, the burden of punishment for uploading copyrighted material to web sites would be shifted from the user to the site owners. Any site that unknowingly hosted such material could be shut down entirely, critics say.

As SOPA receives its first Congressional hearing today, many Internet heavyweights have spoken out against what they say are its repressive tactics. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt called the bill’s measures “draconian,” adding that forcing ISPs “to remove URLs from the Web [was] known as censorship last time I checked.”

Tech groups have banded together in opposition to the bill, declaring today American Censorship Day. In honor of the occasion, sites around the web are displaying their logos as “BLOCKED” black bars, or opening up fake splash pages saying that the site has been blocked. Sites like Wikipedia and tumblr have argued that the bill would place an unfair burden on them, while Reddit has taken efforts one step further and organized a lobbying effort against the bill.

The anti-SOPA movement also released this PSA against the bill:

During the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill, Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) said critics were overreacting.

“[It's] beyond troubling to hear hyperbolic charges that this bill will open the floodgates to government censorship,” Watt, a SOPA sponsor, said. “[Comparing the bill to the actions of] a repressive regime belittles the circumstances under which true victims of tyrannical governments actually live.”

More about The Internet

Don’t worry, Internet: “Community” is not canceled

If Jane Austen lived today, would she be a blogger?

Texas Judge apologizes after abuse video goes viral

Please, stop sending us “Halloween or Williamsburg?”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Local

New York-based Century 21 store coming to The…

The former Strawbridge & Clothier building will once again host a department store. City officials on Thursday announced New York-based Century 21 Department Stores will…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

MLB

The return of Cole Hamels brings optimism

Cole Hamels’ quality start Wednesday was a nice change of pace from his recent season debuts.

MLB

Tony Gwynn Jr. a nice surprise for Phillies

Tony Gwynn Jr. has been a plus in every way for the Phillies.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

Food

Hai Street Kitchen opening in Rittenhouse May 22

Japanese cuisine will get a Chipotle-style twist at Hai Street Kitchen & Co., a new casual, quick-food restaurant opening near Rittenhouse Square on May 22.…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.