The looming threat of Internet censorship in the name of copyright is being opposed by an increasing number of groups, politicians, and companies. Ron Paul and others, for example, oppose it, although supporting the goal of stopping rogue websites and copyright “piracy.”
As for companies, Dyn, for example, an Internet infrastructure/DNS/email delivery comany, has a strong statement opposing the horrible Stop Online Piracy Act/E-PARASITE (which emerged after the defeat of PROTECT-IP, aka “son of COICA” as it rose from the ashes of the defeated COICA) pending legislation that Big Media are trying to usher through Congress. Unfortunately, they also, like the politicians who are coming out against SOPA, water down their opposition by paying obeisance to the legitimacy of the statist protectionism known as copyright, by including the comment: “While online piracy is obviously bad …” However, the rest of Dyn’s statement is very good. A few excerpts are included below.
And as noted above, other groups and companies are coming out against SOPA, including the European Parliament and “more than 60 civil and human rights organizations”. Even the the Business Software Alliance, which represents IT companies including Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, and which originally supported SOPA, has withdrawn its support for SOPA in its current form.
Dyn urges people to sign this petition to oppose SOPA. It is a fairly strong opposition to the proposed legislation, even though it also implies there can be “reasonable copyright law.” There cannot be. Genuine rights cannot conflict; when statist positive law sets up rights that “conflict,” or laws that are “in tension” (such as the “tension” between antitrust and IP law), that’s a red flag that at least one of these laws is illegitimate. When people try to reconcile copyright with free speech, the result is inconsistency, and lack of a principled approach. Thus, you see people saying, sure, we need to stop piracy–but these laws go “too far”; we need to have a “reasonable” copyright regime, not one that results in “too much” censorship. Of course mirrors the content of the Constitution itself, which enshrines both copyright (which results in censorship) and free speech. Since most people are legal positivist and hold the fallacious view that the state is legitimate, they accept the Constitution as legitimate and try to square unsquarable things. The result is cognitive dissonance. (One could argue, by the way, that the First Amendment, ratified in 1791, overrules the Copyright clause, ratified along with the Constitution in 1789, since they are incompatible and later-ratified (legislation and) constitutional provisions implicitly overrule earlier (legislation and) constitutional provisions, just as the Twenty-first Amendment (1933) repealed the alcohol prohibition of the Eighteenth Amendment (1919).
Here are some excerpts from Dyn’s statement: [Keep reading…]