American Censorship Day 11/16/2011

More information: http://americancensorship.org/

PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

I was shocked to learn that my local House Representative, Tim Griffin, was one of the sponsors of this bill. To put this into perspective, if SOPA is passed then there is a very real possibility that The Alfred Effect will have to be shutdown. I do videos featuring various video games and video game products that could be requested to be taken down by Sega, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Activision, Electronic Arts, and others even though it is purely for non-profit purposes. And all of this can be done with no judicial oversight. I’m guilty whether or not I can prove I am innocent.

And that is wrong.

I’ve posted below the letter I just submitted to Representative Griffin. And I assure you that I am not lying when I say I will be following this VERY closely and will be making many letters and phone calls to increase awareness and opposition. Feel free to copy and modify this letter below and shoot it off to your local Congressional Representative. Spread the word.

“Sir,

As an active constituent of yours here in Conway I want to take a moment to talk to you about your support for the “Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)”. This bill would “allow companies to bypass the judicial system and take down or block websites simply by accusing a user of posting just *potentially* infringing content on a website.” (arstechnica.com) There doesn’t have to be anything truly infringing for a company to report the site thereby bringing a government ban down upon them. That doesn’t sound like due process to me, more like guilty until proven innocent.

The internet does not belong to the United States alone. This most wonderful piece of technology has brought the world together in ways that nothing before has ever achieved. We are still a diverse and separate people, but the lanes of communication have been opened and the flood of ideas should not be stopped now. Whether for entertainment, education, research, or commerce the core of what the internet means has always been and will always be one thing: communication. This bill will do nothing to promote that and everything to help stymie it.

Corporate backing of this bill is nothing short of blatant. No consumers asked for it. No average internet users asked for it. The only beneficiary of the legislation is the corporate world.

To be fair I completely understand and empathize with the desire to maintain one’s intellectual properties, brand image, etc. But there is no need to ensure further regulations when corporations have and do abuse the existing power and tools at their disposal in the form of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. An excellent example is the current lawsuit, “Motion Picture Association of America vs Hotfile” where it was brought to light that Warner Brothers issued numerous take down requests to Hotfile not only for items that it had not copyright on but also violated the DMCA by not examining the files before submitting the take down request.

Don’t forget that the United States is a nation of the people, not of the corporation. Even the blind can see the results of corporations freed of regulation and oversight with no accounting (see Enron, the financial sector collapse, etc).

Thank you for your time and I look forward to watching the progress of this bill closely. I hope to see your name in opposition and not support.

Sincerely,

Alfred E Bonnabel IV”

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