Megaupload Shutdown; ‘Anonymous’ Hacks US Govt. Sites

SOPA Stubles.jpgAfter the seven million petitions against the SOPA, the US Congress has backed down and put on hold the proposed anti-online piracy bills. The former supporters of the Bill made no effort to conceal the circumstances which forced them to do so, while both the Republicans and Democrats were united in their decision to “revisit” the basics of the Bill before it hit the Congress floor again. Both SOPA and PIPA, in their original form, intended to punish website owners for publishing copyrighted content – especially movies and music – by banning the sites, in addition to penalizing those provide links to visitors who would like to access the banned sites.

Lamar Smith, the Texan Replubican and House Judiciary Committee Chairman, responding to the new developments said "I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products," and that his panel would not consider the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) until a compromise was reached.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said in a statement on Friday, “In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT IP (PIPA) Act," and instead of outright admission that most of them in the Congress got it wrong, he promised to consider the issues raised by critics on online piracy.

Wednesday’s online Blackout resulted in Representative Darrell Issa, and 24 co-sponsors re-introduce the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act. According to The OPEN Act, which was introduced by Oregon Democrat, Senator Ron Wyden in December, the US International Trade Commission instead of the US department of Justice, would be proceeding legally against copyright violators for infringement at foreign websites.

Lamar Smith, argued the OPEN Act "The OPEN Act makes the Internet even more open to foreign thieves that steal America's technology and intellectual property without protecting U.S. businesses and consumers," since it doesn’t have enough to stop the loss of billions of dollars through online piracy and counterfeiting that happens every year. Smith said in a statement. He added,  "The proposal amounts to a safe harbor for foreign criminals who steal American technology, products and intellectual property."

Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat and activist for Improved Cybersecurity Practices said in a statement, "Instead of trying to mitigate security, economic, and Internet freedom concerns with broad, over-reaching technical solutions, I support proposals like this one that seek a middle ground for curbing online piracy while protecting American jobs and innovative technologies that have allowed us to remain the world leader online."

In the midst of all the SOPA debate, the US Government blocked Megaupload and charged its New Zealand operators with piracy. The US charged the site’s co-founders of violating existing anti-piracy laws and accepting an US request, New Zealand authorities arrested four Megaupload employees, including its founder Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz. Megaupload, the Hong Kong-based site had around 150 million users and 50 million daily hits, making it one of the internet's most high profile file-sharing platforms and had received celebrity endorsements from Alicia Keys and Kanye West.

Sparked by the shutdown of Megaupload, the hactivits congress, ‘Anonymous’ were on an controlled rampage that disabled a few sites belonging to the US government, including the White House, US Justice Department, the FBI, US Copyright Office and the Motion Picture Association of America, showing all what, inspite of the Congress fervor, would amount to in the end.
While the truth remains that if the trend of online piracy continued unabated, artists, musicians, writers, comedians, educationists, programmers, designers and all ‘creatives’ in every field would not enjoy enough returns for what they are worth, it is also a known fact that online piracy has brought Apple’s iTunes to sell a song at as low as 0.69 cents, which Google, Wiki and all other sharing sites are aware of too. Scared of facing the music for one last time, those which have had the power to bend popular opinion have done so when it counted, as the proposed Bills didn’t contain an acceptable logic. But in the next round of debate, domination on both sides will melt down to the logic that accepts ground realities, which doesn’t kill the producer while promoting a marketer who reaps the profits even without a license to sell.

Category :

SEO News

Tags :

SOPA Stalls, SOPA PIPA, OPEN Act, Lamar Smith, Darrell Issa, Harry Reid

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