Be prepared for a series of virtual hand slaps if your ISP is saying that you downloaded copyrighted or infringing material or files. A “graduated response” program, aimed at cutting down on illegally downloaded files, was rolled out at the beginning of July and has drawn widespread criticism for both its intent, and execution. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) CEO, Cary Sherman, is at the helm of a new initiative that aims to punish those accused of illegal downloading.
Federal House Bill HR 3261 is pending Federal legislation that would create the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). SOPA is generating a lot of buzz because those for it and those against it are so radically opposed. As one might expect, those pushing for the adoption of SOPA include the biggies in the entertainment industry, such as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). But those who oppose it include people and organizations with a deep understanding of how the Internet works – and of how the Internet could be broken – and innocent sites shut down – by SOPA as it currently is written.
This week sees a lawsuit between the City of Chicago and the owner of the Chicago2016.com domain, between the RIAA and anti-RIAA blogger Ray Beckerman over his blog “Recording Industry v. The People”, and between the EFF and Bush and dog in Jewel v NSA. And for good measure, while not Internet-related, a lawsuit to keep both Obama and McCain off the Texas ballot.