Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Internet wins as SOPA is halted in the House and PIPA is postponed indefinitely in the Senate

Following the internets temper tantrum, support for PIPA and SOPA have almost completely collapsed. Sen. Harry Reid issued a statement announcing he has postponed the vote on the Protect IP Act. Over in the House, Rep. Lamar Smith says the House Judiciary Committee will not move forward with the Stop Online Piracy Act until there is wider agreement on a solution.

This was possibly the best of what the internet has to offer on display as interests from all over the net came together to stop this madness. The fight is not won yet, but this battle definitely goes to us.

The public learned a lot more about the bills over the last few days, but you can bet that the MPAA and the RIAA are not done with legislation yet. We can all agree that piracy is a bad thing, but how you stop it is something that has to be looked at a lot closer. Here are the main problems I have with the approach these bills took.

1. It is no more the governments job to limit my access to web sites any more than they can tell me what to read. This is first and foremost a First Amendment issue.

2. It’s  a worthless law to begin with, blocking sites will not stop pirates, but drive them further underground. IP addresses will change hands and people who want to find pirated info can.

Here is an example from a simple whois lookup for Thepiratebay. That or you can just download Tor which the US State Department helps fund to aid foreign citizens under “repressive regimes” Kind of ironic don’t you think. Server Details
IP address:
Server Location: Germany
ISP: Resilans AB


3. We have laws already in place to combat these and they work pretty well, just ask Megaupload.

The last reason may be the most damning as you must only make laws that solve a problem that are as draconian as the problem itself.

Forget the free speech issues or prior restraint, these bills are the equivalent of trying to stop speeding by putting random brick walls in place on freeways. Would that work, Certainly it would, but the damage caused by the fix is greater than the problem.


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