In what appears to be the latest phase of a far-reaching federal crackdown on online piracy of music and movies, the Web addresses of a number of sites that facilitate illegal file-sharing were seized this week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of theDepartment of Homeland Security.
See more here.
In the United States, a new law proposal called The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced last week, and there will be a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee this Thursday.
If passed, this law will allow the government, under the command of the media companies, to censor the internet as they see fit, like China and Iran do, with the difference that the sites they decide to censor will be completely removed from the internet and not just in the US.
Please see the following article from the Huffington Post for more information:
And if you are a US citizen, please take the time to sign this petition:
DemandProgress.org - Petition to Stop the Internet Blacklist!
You can also email your Senator from the following link and tell him or her your concerns about this bill.
Based on the EFF's website: The Senate Judiciary Committee postponed the scheduled markup of the Internet censorship bill — a fantastic outcome, given that the entertainment industry and their allies in Congress had hoped this bill would be quickly approved before the Senators went home for the October recess. Massive thanks to all who used the EFF Action Center to write to your Senators to oppose this bill.
File sharing is not in and of itself illegal. However, the increasing popularity of the mp3 music format in the late 1990s led to the release and growth of Napster and other software that aided the sharing of electronic files. This in practice led to a huge growth in illegal file sharing: the sharing of copyright protected files without authorization.
Although the original Napster service was shut down by court order, it paved the way for decentralized peer-to-peer file sharing networks such as Gnutella, Gnutella2, eDonkey2000, the Kazaa network, and BitTorrent.
Starting in the early 2000s, some file sharing networks and services — including the original incarnations of MP3.com, Audiogalaxy, Napster, and Morpheus — were accused of facilitating illegal file sharing and were shut down due to litigation by groups such as the RIAA and MPAA. During the same period, the fight against copyright infringement also expanded into lawsuits against individual users of file sharing software.
The economic impact of illegal file sharing on media industries is disputed. Some studies conclude that unauthorized downloading of movies, music and software is unequivocally damaging the economy, while other studies suggest file sharing is not the primary cause of declines in sales. Illegal file sharing remains widespread, with mixed public opinion about the morality of the practice.
* New Client - check your email for instructions.