January 21st, 2012
Econintersect: According to reports circulating Friday (January 20), the two bills proposed to address copyright infringement on the internet - Stop Online Piracy Now (SOPA, HR3261) and PIPA (Protect IP Act, S 968) – have had further action by their sponsors postponed. See GEI News for more details on the two proposed acts. The Washington Post published an article with the details at 11:17 am. While many opponents are doing a victory dance, Paul McNamara has an article at Network World which warns against complacency. He quotes a statement by Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation:
"The Wikimedia Foundation welcomes these developments. This is another step towards the ultimate destruction of these two pieces of proposed legislation. But let's be clear, these bills are not dead. They will return, and when they do, they must not harm the interests of the hundreds of millions of people who contribute to the free and open Internet."
There are voices saying that, while SOPA and PIPA may not have been the correct solution, there is a problem and people should spend less time celebrating and more time proposing what should be done about it. Here is what Rob Preston wrote to introduce his article on that subject at Information Week:
The actors in the soap opera that is SOPA and PIPA are getting a bit full of themselves. If you haven't been following this saga, these two bills, ham-handed attempts to stop online content piracy, prompted Google, Wikipedia, and a bunch of other sites to black out their logos or temporarily shut down in protest. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act, the House version) and PIPA (Protect IP Act, the Senate version) are said to threaten free speech, the future of innovation, the technical infrastructure of the Internet, and the economic foundation of the global economy. Wrote one wag: "Big content is quite literally trying to foist its own version of the Great Firewall of China on to the American public." Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!
Preston says that those whose opposition brought the proposed legislation to the graveyard are missing an important point: theft of copyright material is a problem and it must be stopped. The headline for his article says it all:
SOPA: Stop Grandstanding, Start Crafting an Alternative
Editor’s note: Global Economic Intersection has had copyright infringement problems and all have been resolved satisfactorily. The usual situation is that another website copies an article completely (or in substantial part) except for the author’s name and link to the source. If the article is by a guest author who has not indicated the process they wish to follow with content they have posted with us, we ask them if the reproduction would be acceptable with the byline credit (name and any link included in the byline) and a link to the original post at GEI. If that is acceptable to them then the process proceeds with the following sequence of events:
The offending site is contacted with a brief statement of our repost policy.
If the first contact is ignored the site is again contacted with a request that the byline and links requirement be met or the article removed within 24 hours.
If there is no satisfactory reply to the second contact the host for the website with a request that the material be removed immediately or the site be taken down.
For sites with contact information the posting is modified to meet our requirements in most cases. Once the material was removed by the site owner.
For sites with no contact information comments are left. Usually the comment is not posted and there is no response so we are forced to proceed to the host. Many of these sites appear to be operated by robots, or by people who wish to remain invisible.
Hosts always respond, usually with removal of the material but on several cases with removal of the entire website.
Econintersect is a strong believer in sharing of content on the internet yet never post anything without written permission from the source. We are happy to share our material whenever agreeable to the author, but only when full byline and source credits are given.
In Econintersect experience copyright observation compliance has not been a problem.
Global Economic Intersection (GEI) is an internet publisher of blogs operated by Econintersect LLC. The difference, of course, between this and movie or music content is the vast difference in resale value of the content on the black market.