Right now, the US Congress is debating a law that would give them the power to censor the world’s Internet — creating a blacklist that could target YouTube, WikiLeaks and even groups like Avaaz!
To all Members of the US Congress:
As concerned global citizens, we call on you to stand for a free and open Internet and vote against both the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. The Internet is a crucial tool for people around the world to exchange ideas and work collectively to build the world we all want. We urge you to show true global leadership and do all you can to protect this basic pillar of our democracies worldwide.
[via guardian.co.uk. See similar stories at telegraph.co.uk and bbc.co.uk]
Warner Bros studios in Hollywood. Film studios have won a landmark UK high court ruling that forces BT to block access to file-sharing website Newzbin2. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/AP
Hollywood film studios won a landmark UK high court ruling on Thursday forcing BT to block access to an illegal file-sharing website accused of operating “on a grand scale”.
The Motion Picture Association, the trade body whose members include Warner Bros, Fox, Disney and Paramount Pictures, has been granted an order requiring BT — the UK’s biggest internet service provider — to block its customers’ access to the website Newzbin2.
The administrative overhead in offering customers free Internet access could become to much to bear if the Digital Economy Bill goes forward.
The Digital Economy Bill – which aims to curtail file sharing by introduction stronger sanctions against those found trading in copyright material, up to and including disconnection from the Internet – could have an unfortunate side effect: the death of the free, open wireless access point.
Lillian Edwards, professor of Internet law at Sheffield University, is quoted by ZDNet as stating that the scenarios detailed in an explanatory document produced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills would “outlaw open WiFi for small businesses.”
The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama’s administration refused to disclose due to “national security” concerns, has leaked. It’s bad. It says:
That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn’t infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.
The Rapidshare Christmas logo. How utterly Christmassy of them.
The popular Germany-based file hosting service RapidShare has allegedly begun handing over user information to record labels looking to pursue illegal file-sharers. The labels appear to be making use of paragraph 101 of German copyright law, which allows content owners to seek a court order to force ISPs to identify users behind specific IP addresses. Though RapidShare does not make IP information public, the company appears to have given the information to at least one label, which took it to an ISP to have the user identified.