Internet Anti-Piracy Bill Would Chill Free Expression
A bill in the House aims to fight online piracy, but its blunderbuss approach would cripple online innovation and chill free expression on the Web.
When the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill last week, one congressional supporter dismissed the opposition, saying, 'The obstinate opposition since the day [SOPA was introduced] is really about the bottom line. Sites that specialize in stolen goods attract lots of users and lots of ads.' But that claim rings hollow given the broad array of groups aligned against the bill.
Copyright owners have struggled to find an effective mechanism to fight the wide-scale online piracy of their intellectual property. Understandably, Congress wants to help. Legislation the House is now considering, however, takes a blunderbuss approach that would cripple online innovation, chill online free expression, subvert the inner workings of Internet security, and compromise user privacy.