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Google and Facebook Join Forces to Battle Common Threat

Google, Facebook and Zynga Join Forces to Battle Common Threat

Everyone will agree that a copyright holder's rights should not be infringed. However, most will also agree that they way these rights are supposedly protected by governments and laws is far from ideal. Even though academic studies have shown that current measures such as DRM are not having the desired results, the United States government is in the process of trying to pass the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which promises to continue along the same lines as these failed measures.

The move is supported by Hollywood lobbyists and content owners, but the sentiments of the common internet user are summed up by the name they have have given SOPA, the E-Parasites Act. If the laws are passed, harsh penalties would be imposed on anyone who uses any form of copyright material without permission. Another critical aim of the proposed legislation is to clamp down on "rogue" foreign websites that circumvent copyrights. SOPA grants powers to essentially blacklist sites and virtually make them disappear by blocking access to them.

Perhaps the ridiculousness of SOPA is best exemplified by Freebieber.org. Since Justin Bieber rose to fame initially by posting covers of copyrighted songs to which he did not have the rights, he committed a felony and could possibly face jail time for retro-actively violating SOPA.

Facebook, Google and Zynga along with many more do not agree with SOPA and have joined together to petition against the implementation of the Act. In a letter to the United States Congress they state that the move will:

... jeopardize a foundational structure that has worked for content owners and Internet companies alike and provide certainty to innovators with new ideas for how people create, find, discuss and share information lawfully online.

As it is, you can see most websites operate on a premise of good faith. Sites like Youtube do not want to promote copyright infringement and will take down content whenever a valid complaint for copyright violation is lodged. In fact, most videos uploaded by users come with a disclaimer in the description stating the fact that they do not own the copyrights to the material and will take it down at the content owner's request. By forcing the issue, however, the content owners are not helping their cause in the least bit. If you push, people will resist. And eventually push back.

Source: Politechbot (via Mashable and CNET)

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