Thursday, November 17, 2011

Social Media Giants Try to Stop STOP

Stop Sign Where Motorists Halt Their Vehicles ...Image by The U.S. National Archives via FlickrThe Stop Online Piracy Act ("STOP")[H.R.3261], which aims to allow intellectual property holders to ward off infringing foreign Websites, has drawn spirited opposition from a Who's Who of social media behemoths, including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo, AOL, eBay and Zynga, according to Findlaw's Technologist blog.

The social media moguls fear STOP will curtail job-creation and promote censorship. The measure would, among other things, empower the Attorney General to obtain court orders requiring ISPs to block access to offending Websites, prevent ISPs, advertisers and credit card companies from servicing infringing Websites if requested by a rights holder, and remove the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) that shield ISPs acting in good faith.

Facebook, Google et al. want continued protection under the DMCA, which they consider the "cornerstone of the U.S. Internet and technology industry's growth and success." Proponents of STOP argue the bill would facilitate the purchase of content and goods from legitimate Websites by users because it would block counterfeit sites.
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