Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Protest on Web Uses Shutdown to Take on Two Piracy Bills

View as: Print Mobile App Share:


A Web-wide protest against two pieces of U.S. Internet piracy legislation that includes a one-day shutdown of Wikipedia represents a political flashpoint for a relatively young and unstructured industry.

"This is the first real test of the political strength of the Web, and regardless of how things go, they are no longer a pushover," says Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu.

The Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the Protect IP Act in the Senate seek to discourage the illegal downloading and streaming of TV shows and movies online and have the support of major media outfits. However, the bills give rise to fears by the tech industry that they will give media companies too much power to close sites suspected of copyright abuse.

"For the first time, it's very clear that legislation could have a direct impact on the industry's ability to do business," says New York Tech Meetup's Jessica Lawrence. "This has been a wake-up call."

Internet companies are concerned that the legislation's broad definitions of terms such as search engine could make Web sites of all sizes required to monitor all material on their pages for potential violations. The bills' biggest proponents dispute the tech industry’s chief complaint that they will negatively impact the average Internet user or disrupt their online activities.

From New York Times
View Full Article

Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account