Thursday, 19 January 2012

SOPA: a reader asks for information

Heat ... and light
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the United States has generated a good deal of discussion -- but from the point of view of the dedicated copyright student the words expended on it might be said to have produced more heat than light.

A reader has written to ask me if I can recommend "any serious, legal and dispassionate reflexion about SOPA, whatever be the position of the author".

Offhand I couldn't think of much writing that complied with these criteria. Accordingly I invite readers of this blog to crowd-source a response to her request, preferably by posting recommended reading via the Comment link below. Many thanks in anticipation!


FrenchKat said...

I thought this link may be of interest to your reader:

Paul Edward Geller said...

To begin to understand the problem, take a look at

FrenchKat said...

And this from Professor Tribe:

Andy J said...

@Paul Edward Gellar. With the greatest respect, I think a paper dated 2002 is hardly relevant to the situation today. Yes it covers some of the technical background on file sharing and so forth, but my understanding of Jeremy's post is that his correspondent wanted an analysis of SOPA from a legal perspective (albeit not necessarily from a strictly neutral viewpoint).
Frankly if the correpondent wants any technical background on the problem SOPA claims to address, (but which I would argue is totally irrelevant to how SOPA is intended to operate), then you will find much of this discussed on Torrentfreak. At least there you hear it from the 'enemy' so to speak.

Emil A. Georgiev said...

I found the article Don't Break the Internet by Mark Lemley, David S. Levine, & David G. Post very useful.


Dan Glover said...

For a view on why SOPA and PROTECT IP will NOT "break the Internet", particularly in their current form, see this link to an article by Terry Hart at Copyhype:

Clarinette said...

I have curated diverse view on SOPA/PIPA on my Pearltrees. You can click on each pearl to access the link content:

Some of the main issues, apart from the DNS blocking in itself and the threat to privacy by Deep Packet Inspection for instance, are the question of bogus Notice of Take Down and its chilling effect on freedom of speech.

Have a look here at what Milton Mueller says about Deep Packet Inspection:

The two studies one by Oxford University and the other by the Dutch group Bits of Freedom are a good illustration of the Notice of Take down chilling effect:

First of all, Copyright law needs to be reviewed to adapt with the digital era before engaging into a 'prohibition' kind of battle. Didn't we, for generations, shared our best books with friends and family? why can't we do that anymore? We need more fair use exceptions. We need to clarify what is copyright and make the rules accessible to everyone. I like to recall the case of President Obama offering an iPod to the Queen with uploaded music, could he know he was infringing copyright law?
Ultimately, it took time to instaure ISP immunity for third party content generally admitted. These regulations are just going backword, shooting the messenger and asking ISPs to become judge and jury.

On ISPs/Search Engine liability see:

There is a hierarchy of norm and in the context of today's economy, copyright industry is not doing that bad for everyone to be asked to contribute to their profit. Remember that digital sales is also full of benefit for them with much lower cost, no packaging, no store, no vendor,...

I quite like this suggested alternative to SOPA/PIPA :

Understanding what is SOPA and protect our civil liberties:

Hope we all that Jeremy, your readers will be able to make their own opinions.