Something Can Be Done About It
Being Dump Godaddy Day (apparently), I figured it fitting that I received the following quite-excellent email from my hosting provider 1&1, regarding their stance on the Stop Online Piracy Act. Heartening that they actually took a stand on this, as opposed to the support and then we-neither-support-nor-oppose stance Godaddy took.
Good to hear, though, that my hosting company is one of the good guys:
You may have heard about Protect-IP (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently under consideration in Congress. If passed, among other things, SOPA requires Web hosting companies like 1&1 to police websites in order to prevent them from communicating copyrighted information on the internet. We would like to make sure you are aware of 1&1’s official position on SOPA.
As a global provider of domains and hosting services, we oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or Protect-IP (PIPA) Acts currently under consideration. While we observe the concerns of those who are troubled by the potential impact on protecting intellectual property online, 1&1 feels there is an urgent need to strike a balance between dissemination of and access to information and protection against its illegal use within the public domain.
The US government is currently reviewing SOPA and PIPA as possible ways to prevent unlawful distribution of copyrighted materials available on the internet. These current proposals, if passed, would allow for significant interventions into the technological and economical basis of the internet. This could put the vast benefits and economic opportunities of entirely legal and legitimate e-business models at risk. Generally, companies offering technological services should not be forced to be the executor of authority in such matters. If they were to act upon every implication of content infringement without any judicial research into the actual usage of its customers, the integrity behind their customer’s freedom of information and speech would be enormously harmed.
1&1 Internet, Inc. has worked through associations and with related companies to ensure that these aspects are taken into account. Thus, we welcome the serious consideration by the US Congress of the potential harmful effects on Internet freedom should SOPA and / or PIPA be passed as law, and hope the stability of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS) remains intact.
We encourage every Internet user concerned about these plans to contribute to the debate and to raise their voice with their local representatives in the House or Senate. One way to express your concerns could be to use one of the websites that emerged to protect user interests in the current legislative debate, such as http://fightforthefuture.org/.
At 1&1 we support you, our customer, and an open internet. If you find that you are supporting a company that encourages SOPA and wish to drop them as
a provider, please follow the simple instructions contained on the website linked below.
Thank you for being one of our extremely valued customers, and for taking the time to read this.
Being a Scientologist I’m of course opposed to folks who assert that because “it’s the Internet” that they can blatantly do whatever they want, abuse copyrights, “expel from the Internet” religious groups, use the web as a platform for harassement, etc. But there is absolutely due process of law, and that due process gets served (sometimes slowly – but it does get served) for folks that break the law. And, like 1&1, Google, Craig Newmark, and others, I feel that a policy like SOPA will simply be a platform for unnecessary government censorship (or worse, corporate censorship) of the Internet.
What if, in the process of blogging about the dangers of psychiatric drugging & labeling of children, Eli Lilly or Shire Pharma say I’m infringing on a trademark by using their names in the article, and shut my website down without due process of law? It’s a nasty thought, and I’m glad internetfolk are banding together to make sure it doesn’t come to pass.