Preserve Freedom of Information
This petition had 985 supporters
Many American corporate organizations, including but not limited to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), have been pushing for increased copyright protection of corporate entities at the expense of the individual consumer and freedom of information. We are asking that government entities and corporations charged with providing information to the People of the United States focus on defending the individual's basic human right to freedom of information, against corporations that are pressing for unjust control.
As an independent inventor, I am all for supporting a creators' right to control the distribution of their work and retain credit, believe me. However, this corporate and government agreement will do nothing to help the original creator. It will make a great deal of money for large corporations, while actually harming individual creators. I will explain why with a typical scenario:
An independent artist manages to land a record deal. This means that he gives the record company the right to produce and distribute his work, with credit to him. Once his music is made available, a working-class teenager or young adult downloads a song or two so they can decide they like the music before buying the CD. Under this new practice of Internet Service Providers, the person's Internet is completely cut off until he agrees never to download another song. Should he fail to comply with his agreement, the record company sues him and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars. Other people, not wanting to be on the losing end of such a lawsuit, no longer want to buy the artist's CDs, since they have no idea whether or not they'll like it. The CD sales decline as the lawsuits rise, harming the artist while making millions of dollars for the record company.
This is what will happen if the government and corporations keep pushing bills like SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act; H.R. 3261), PIPA (Protect IP Act; S. 968), and ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement; H.R. 1981). It will seriously hurt the independent creators who truly worked hard to give us these products, while helping the already-wealthy corporations make even more money by leeching from these hard-working people.
Corporations like the RIAA and MPAA want to decide whether or not we broke the law and arbitrarily disconnect a service which we rightfully paid for, all without any kind of judicial proceeding. They want to take justice into their own hands and take the decision about whether or not we broke the law away from a judge and jury. The frightening thing is, though, that this is entirely legal! Since these entities are corporations - not a part of Congress - Sixth Amendment rights do not apply, and corporations will be able to take the law into their own hands and cut you off from a service which you pay for, all because they suspect that you may have downloaded an illegal file or two!
This doesn't even address the issue of why the Internet was invented in the first place - to ease the basic human right to freedom of information. When Nikola Tesla faced failure, went bankrupt, and watched his life's work burn down before him to give us our electrical distribution system, and eventually radio, his dream was to progress humanity by providing easy access to free information. When Philo Farnsworth went against his family's wishes and religious beliefs - a lone resistance fighter and a prodigy at the mere age of fifteen - to invent the cathode ray tube television, he hoped that some day it would give human beings a better understanding of each other by easing the transfer and accessibility of free information. These are two of many genuine independent workers with intellectual property rights that were repeatedly violated by large corporations. Now it is over 100 years later, and the same corporations have the unmitigated ego to pass bills and make shadowed agreements giving them every right to leech from independent workers, control the property of independent workers, and shatter your right as a living, breathing being to freedom of information.
I am asking you to carefully consider what I'm saying. Support independent workers and your own right to know what's going on in the world, rather than helping corporations make even more money by finding and creating loopholes in the legal system.
Please preserve freedom of information.
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