Jan. 20, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today responded to reports that both the House and Senate were delaying action on legislation that will censor the Internet in the name of protecting copyright:
“It certainly is encouraging to see both houses of Congress delay action on these pieces of legislation that would have aggressively policed the Internet. This is a victory for those who believe in an open Internet. However, in light of recent events, including the prosecution of overseas-based Megaupload utilizing existing laws and diplomacy, it is as clear as day that new laws are completely unnecessary to do what supporters of the legislation say they want. The question becomes: If the new laws are not necessary to get at foreign infringers what is the real reason behind the proposals?
“To which, you have to consider what the proposed pieces of legislation would change. As drafted, they would have provided for DNS blocking, removal from search engines, and shutting off of ad revenue and payment processing — all based merely on the accusation of piracy. So, before a defendant is even able to defend him or herself in court, their business is effectively shut down completely. The government has already been exercising these powers domestically, and in some cases errantly, as with the case of dajaz1.com.
“The bills also provided for private rights of action against Internet service providers, search engines, ad providers, and payment processors that currently do not exist under law. So, instead of the delicate balance that currently exists under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, where protected materials are removed based on legitimate takedown notices, the balance would shift completely to the IP holders, who merely through the threat of action could leverage very popular websites like YouTube, Facebook, Google, and Twitter that have been complying with the law all along.
“Merely shelving these bills, when it is perfectly clear they are unnecessary, is not enough. They need to be dropped completely. If Congress should be studying anything, it should be their own ignorance of the laws that are already on the books, instead of examining more closely whether or not to institute a regime of censorship.”
“Begun, the Cyber Wars Have,” ALG Senior Editor Robert Romano (Jan. 20, 2012) at http://netrightdaily.com/2012/01/the-cyber-wars-have-begun/ .
14 SOPA and PIPA cosponsors drop support, ALG encourages other backers to reconsider support, Press Statement, (Jan. 19, 2012) at http://getliberty.org/content.asp?pl=10&sl=5&contentid=822 .
“SOPA Support Imploding,” ALG Senior Editor Robert Romano
(Jan. 19, 2012) at http://netrightdaily.com/2012/01/sopa-support-implodes/
ALG praises Wikipedia.org and Other Websites for Striking Against
Online Censorship Bill (Jan. 18, 2012) at http://getliberty.org/content.asp?pl=10&sl=5&contentid=820
SOPA: Lamar Smith’s copyright hypocrisy, ALG Senior Editor Robert Romano (Jan. 17, 2012) athttp://netrightdaily.com/2012/01/lamar-smiths-copyright-hypocrisy/ .
“Government Already Blocking Internet Access,” ALG Senior Editor Robert Romano (Dec. 16, 2011) athttp://netrightdaily.com/2011/12/government-already-blocking-internet-access/ .
ALG: Internet Censorship Bill ‘un-American’, Press Release (Dec. 14, 2011) at http://getliberty.org/content.asp?pl=10&sl=5&contentid=807 .
Letter to Members of the House Judiciary Committee, ALG President Bill Wilson (Dec.14, 2011) at http://netrightdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/AntiSOPA-12-14-11.pdf .
“An Internet Without Uploading?” ALG President Bill Wilson (Dec. 14, 2011) at http://netrightdaily.com/2011/12/an-internet-without-uploading/ .
“Internet piracy bill: A free speech ‘kill switch’,” ALG President Bill Wilson, The Hill (Dec. 12, 2011) athttp://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/198687-internet-piracy-bill-a-free-speech-kill-switch .
Interview with ALG President Bill Wilson, WGEM, Hosts Rich Cain and Lindsey Hess, Quincy, IL (Dec. 12, 2011) athttp://my.wgem.com/_Bill-Wilson-Americans-for-Limited-Govt/audio/916294/29404.html .
“Legislation by Rep. Lamar Smith equals Internet censorship,” ALG Senior Editor Robert Romano (Dec. 12, 2011) athttp://netrightdaily.com/2011/12/legislation-by-rep-lamar-smith-equals-internet-censorship/ .
Bipartisan Letter from Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Rep. Darrell Issa against Internet Censorship Bill (Nov. 8, 2011) athttp://gov20.govfresh.com/issa-and-lofgren-dear-colleague-letter-versus-sopa/ .
Three Libertarians Raise Concerns about the Stop Online Piracy Act, Cato Institute (Nov. 7, 2011) at http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/three-libertarians-raise-concerns-about-the-stop-online-piracy-act/ .
“Guilty until proven innocent,” By ALG Communications Director Rick Manning, Nov. 16, 2011 at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-a-budget/193901-guilty-until-proven-innocent .
Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.