Stop Sopa now by Dan Gillmor

Posted in: Government & Policy at 17/11/2011 16:12

The Stop Online Piracy Act will kill online innovation and serve the interests not of ordinary web users but a corporate cartel

America is fond of chiding other nations about freedom of speech in the internet age. Leaders including President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are constantly reminding their global counterparts, especially in places like China, that internet censorship is a detriment to open government and honest self-rule. Yet, the Obama administration has used tactics that smell of censorship, and Congress is making common cause with a corporate cartel that wants to turn the internet into little more than an enhanced form of cable television. In the name of protecting copyright holders, they would censor the internet and force entrepreneurs to get permission to innovate.

Hollywood and the music industry lead the copyright cartel. They have been at war with the internet - and all technology they can't control - since they realised that digital technology was creating huge challenges to their way of doing business. They have allies, to varying degrees, in other industries that include book publishing, software and pharmaceuticals, all of which are seeing their markets change and, in some cases, erode.

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