Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ALA + Tea Party = Unusual Coalition

Libraries may become Smooth Criminal's by linking to illegally shared content, oh noes!!!111oneHere's an interesting developing story heard this Wednesday morning on American Public Media's Marketplace Tech Report. This story, as it unfolds, will affect everyone who uses the Internet.
  • "The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing today concerning the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. It's a bill recently introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) that would block access to websites that distribute unlicensed content or facil
    itate the distribution of that content."
We're not talking about tasty soup here, folks. We're talking about giving someone authority to blacklist and block access to websites. The big problem is the vague language in the bill.
  • "The bill uses a bunch of different terms to try to define these sites, some of which come from the case law the courts have been using, but it also has other terms that are less clearly defined in copyright law, like 'facilitate.' Does YouTube facilitate downloading?"
Consider which sites might be blocked beyond the obvious ones like torrent sites or those streaming illegal live TV. Could it be YouTube? Imagine if that whole site was blocked. How about this blog? How about your library website? Are you linking to a site that could be sharing unlicensed material (that you're not aware of), because if so, then your library website is a law-breaking criminal.

Wondering about the title of this post? Well, "opposing the bill are the A.C.L.U., the Tea Party Patriots, the American Library Association and Facebook."

Read or listen to this very interesting and developing story on Marketplace's website:

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