Reject the Stop Online Piracy Act
  • Petitioned United States Congress

This petition was delivered to:

United States Congress

Reject the Stop Online Piracy Act

    1. Shruti Kansara
    2. Petition by

      Shruti Kansara

      Gilberts, IL

In addition to limiting the freedom of speech and press sanctioned in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act, together known as the Internet Blacklist Bills, will have a negative impact on our technology-based economic section. Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, and eBay agree that the act would grant far too much power to the government by allowing it to regulate these activities. Noncommercial users would be subject to lawsuits, the penalties of which include a five year prison sentence. Sites such as Tumblr, YouTube, and Facebook would be screened thoroughly to ensure that copyrights aren't being violated. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes certain that these encroachments are eradicated but does so with a "safe harbor." The DCMA serves as our current limit on copyright infringement. However, if this new act is passed, social networking websites will be held accountable for the things published by their users. The SOPA would strengthen protection for copyrighted work, but at the expense of the liberty that all humans are entitled to.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Is SOPA Dead?

      Shruti Kansara
      Petition Organizer

      There is speculation that SOPA and PIPA have "been killed."

      SOPA author Lamar Smith (R) has said that the act will mostly likely fail. The January 24th decision for PIPA has also been delayed. This is all in light of Wednesday's Internet blackouts. Congress is taking notice of what the people feel.

    2. We Are Not Alone

      Shruti Kansara
      Petition Organizer

      It is of great significance to me that we have reached our 250th signature on the day the web stands still. Just as Wikipedia is opening the eyes of hundreds of Internet users, so is Google. The popular search engine joins that January 18th online protest against SOPA and PIPA. Just because SOPA has been "shelved" does not mean it is going away any time soon. Your support is needed.

      Thank you.

    3. Reached 250 signatures
    4. Wikipedia Blackout

      Shruti Kansara
      Petition Organizer

      Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia will be shutting down its English version globally in less than six hours to protest SOPA and PIPA. The discontent voiced by large organizations like Wikipedia is necessary to demonstrate the feelings held by many individuals. I truly hope that this move will elucidate to Congress just how much opposition the Internet Blacklist Bills face.

      Thank you again.

    5. Wikipedia

      Shruti Kansara
      Petition Organizer

      Wikipedia has left the Internet registar GoDaddy. The non-profit is only one of the 37,000 users that have abandoned GoDaddy because of rage over SOPA. The registar initially supported SOPA, but due to such large losses, is now claiming to be against it. Said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales in a tweet, "I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy. Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us."

      This epitomizes the influence of grassroots movements such as Change.org petitions. The discontent expressed by many has led to increased awareness of our cause. I fervently hope that more corporations and non-profit organizations realize the dangers posed by SOPA and speak out. Once again, I ask nothing more than for the message to be spread. The numbers against SOPA are increasing daily, and I believe this trend should continue. Thank you for your continued support.

    6. The Power of Numbers

      Shruti Kansara
      Petition Organizer

      I'm absolutely amazed to see that we've reached over 150 signatures! Thank you to all for your support, and I hope this awareness continues, despite the news that the ultimate decision has been postponed until 2012.

    7. Reached 100 signatures
    8. Other Petitions!

      Shruti Kansara
      Petition Organizer

      I've recently noticed that there are many other petitions now started for the same cause. I know that we are all working together to achieve a common goal, and this pleases me. I am hoping that most people will sign multiple petitions so that we may have numbers on our side.
      Thank you.

    9. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Molly M COLONE, MT
      • over 2 years ago

      I kept seeing these piracy things on sites and i asked my friend about it and she sad they were going to shut down any site with one on there and told me to sign a petition. So...I did

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • ben bentley MOBILE, AL
      • almost 3 years ago

      im signing this patition because if these acts are passed theres a posibility of government action with a baby video just because of the music playing in the background.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Linda Yost-Stackpole NEW MARTINSVILLE, WV
      • almost 3 years ago

      I'm signing because of my freedom of speech and press sanctioned in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Big government has gone too far when they want to limit Internet activity especially on social networking websites.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kay M 2, AZ
      • almost 3 years ago

      The internet must be free! As Americans, this violates our rights to freedom of speech! This is going to make the internet go downhill if SOPA is passed. This also violates privacy! It is actually heartbreaking how much this country is going down hill. We used to be "the land of the free" and now look how that is going. It hardly seems "free" anymore, and our last bit of "freedom" for internet users will be gone. We want to belong of a country we can be proud of, not a country that's going to stalk us online. Also, let's see...Big Business vs. People's rights. I think I'm more in favor for people's rights. That is why I am signing today.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Maneesh Pangasa YUMA, AZ
      • almost 3 years ago

      These Internet Blacklist bills amount to Internet censorship. If one Facebook user links to or posts in an infringing way copyrighted material online the entire website could be shut down for all users including non-infrnging users without due process, amounting to a real government takeover of the Internet and one that benefits big media in the short term at everyone else's expense. This year the movie industry made $30 billion (a third of it in the U.S.) from box-office revenue. But the total movie industry revenue was $87 billion. Where did the other $57 billion come from?

      The music and movie business has been consistently wrong in its claims that new platforms and channels would be the end of its businesses. In each case, the new technology produced a new market far larger than the impact it had on the existing market.

      •1920's: The record business complained about radio. The argument was because radio is free, you can't compete with free. No one was ever going to buy music again.

      •1940's: Movie studios had to divest their distribution channel - they owned over 50% of the movie theaters in the U.S. "It's all over," complained the studios. In fact, the number of screens went from 17,000 in 1948 to 38,000 today.

      •1950's: Broadcast television was free; the threat was cable television. Studios argued that their free TV content couldn't compete with paid.

      •1970's: Video Cassette Recorders (VCR's) were going to be the end of the movie business. The movie businesses and its lobbying arm MPAA fought it with "end of the world" hyperbola. The reality? After the VCR was introduced, studio revenues took off like a rocket. With a new channel of distribution, home movie rentals surpassed movie theater tickets.

      •1998: The MPAA got congress to pass the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ( DCMA), making it illegal for you to make a digital copy of a DVD that you actually purchased.

      •2000: Digital Video Recorders (DVR) like TiVo allowing consumer to skip commercials was going to be the end of the TV business. DVR's reignite interest in TV.

      •2006: Broadcasters sued Cablevision (and lost) to prevent the launch of a cloud-based DVR to its customers.

      Today it's the Internet that's going to put the studios out of business. Sound familiar?

      Why was the movie industry consistently wrong? And why do they continue to fight new technology?

      The movie industry was born with a single technical standard - 35mm film, and for decades had a single way to distribute its content - movie theaters (which until 1948 the studios owned.) It was 75 years until studios had to deal with technology changing their platform and distribution channel. And when it happened (cable, VCR's, DVD's, DVR's, the Internet,) it was a relentless onslaught. The studios responded by trying to shut down the new technology and/or distribution channels through legislation and the courts.

      Regulation/Legislation

      But why does the movie business think their solution is in Washington and legislation? History and success.

      In the 1920's individual states were beginning to censor movies and the federal government was threatening to do so as well. The studios set up their own self-censorship and rating system keeping most sex and politics off the screen for 40 years. Never again wanting to be at the losing side of a political battle they created the movie industry's lobbying arm, MPAA.

      By the 1960's, the MPPA achieved regulatory capture (where an industry co-opts the very people who are regulating it) when they hired Jack Valenti, who ran the studios' lobbying efforts for the next 38 years. Ironically, it was Valenti's skill in hobbling competitive innovation that negated any need for studios to develop agility, vision and technology leadership.

      Management of Innovation

      The introduction of new technology is always disruptive to existing markets, particularly to content/copyright owners whose sell through well-established distribution channels. The incumbents tend to have short-sighted goals and often fail to recognize that more money can be made on new platforms and distribution channels.

      In an industry facing constant technology shifts the exec staff and boards of the studios have lawyers, MBAs and financial managers, but no management skill in dealing with disruption. So they rely on lobbying ($110 million a year), lawsuits, campaign contributions (wonder why the President won't be vetoing SOPA?) and Public Relations.

      Ironically, the six major movie studios have a great technology lab in Silicon Valley with projects in streaming rights, Video On Demand, Ultraviolet, etc. But lacking the support from the studio CEOs or boards, the lab languishes in the backwaters of the studios' strategy. Instead of leading with new technology, the studios lead with litigation, legislation and lobbying. (Imagine if the $110 million/year spent on lobbying went to disruptive innovation.)

      Piracy

      One of the claims that studios make is that they need legislation to stop piracy. The fact is piracy is rampant in all forms of commerce. Video games and software have been targets since their inception. Grocery and retail stores euphemistically call it shrinkage. Credit card companies call it fraud. But none use regulation as often as the movie studios to solve a business problem. And none are so willing to do collateral damage to other innovative industries (VCRs, DVRs, cloud storage and now the Internet itself.)

      The studios don't even pretend that this legislation benefits consumers. It's all about protecting short-term profit.

      SOPA

      When lawyers, MBAs and financial managers run your industry and your lobbyists are ex-Senators, understanding technology and innovation is not one of your core capabilities. The SOPA bill (and DNS blocking) is what happens when someone with the title of anti-piracy or copyright lawyer has greater clout than your head of new technology. SOPA gives corporations unprecedented power to censor almost any site on the Internet.

      History has shown that time and market forces provide equilibrium in balancing interests, whether the new technology is a video recorder, a personal computer, an MP3 player or now the Net. It's prudent for courts and congress to exercise caution before restructuring liability theories for the purpose of addressing specific market abuses, despite their apparent present magnitude.

      What the music and movie industry should be doing in Washington is promoting legislation to adapt copyright law to new technology- and then leading the transition to the new platforms.

      The U.S. State Department has been championing the Internet Freedom initiative across the world. Secretary of State Clinton said, "...when ideas are blocked, information deleted, conversations stifled, and people constrained in their choices, the Internet is diminished for all of us."

      It's too bad the head of the MPAA - an ex Senator - made a mockery of her words when he wondered "why our online censorship can't be like China?" We wonder, "Why can't the film industry innovate like Silicon Valley?"

      Lessons Learned

      •Studios are run by financial managers who have no corporate DNA to exploit disruptive innovation

      •Studio anti-piracy/copyright lawyers trump their technologists

      •Studios have no concern about collateral damage as long as it optimizes their revenue

      •Studios110M/year lobbying and political donations trump consumer objections

      •Politicians votes will follow the money unless it will cost them an election

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