This Thursday a Bill was Quitely passed that could end up threating the very space time fabric of what we believe is a right to be able to discuss, promote and market products online.
If you are concerned and you really should be sign the petition.
This new but very sadistic ruling could effect Internet Marketing in ways that you never thougt possible.
They call it Combating Online Ingringements and Counterfeits Act.
Sounds impressive dosent it?
Well it would be except that there is no proof required, so if a large corporation decides to make a claim on your website because it is in direct competition with the corporations services, regardless of if there has been any real infringment.
All that is required is an allegation, an accusation is all that is needed and a website could be shut down.
Imagine what would have happened if Myspace.com had in its hayday, just filed a claim and had facebook shut down.
Face book would have never had the opportunity to become the number one social network.
What about if Google had never purchased youtube because all they had to do was to file a claim and have any competitor shut down without any recourse.
Sounds scary? then sign the petition.
It should sound scary but more than that if you are paying $10.00 for hosting now, prepare to pay three times that for the same hosting in the future.
Why is that?
Please see the below excerpt, from a post by Timothy B Lee, (no relation)
To understand the proposal, it helps to know a bit about the Domain Name System, or DNS, that is the focus of the bill. The DNS is the Internet’s directory service. Computers on the Internet are assigned (mostly) unique numbers like “22.214.171.124,” but these numbers are not convenient for human users to remember. So instead websites use domain names like “cato.org,” and our computers use the DNS system to automatically translates these names into their corresponding IP addresses. DNS is a distributed system; thousands of Internet Service Providers operate DNS servers for the use of their own customers.
Under COICA, when the attorney general accused a domain name of being “dedicated” to copyright infringement, the courts would issue orders not against the owners of the domain name (who may be overseas) but against domain-name registrars and the operators of DNS servers here in the United States. This means that thousands of systems administrators would be required to maintain a large and constantly-changing list of blacklisted domains. This is a significant and unfair administrative burden on private parties who have absolutely no connection to infringing activities.
Ok, if you look at what this could mean, then you understand that hosting providers would have to hire additional personal in order to meet the conditions of use and this increase in cost would be passed on to the consumer.
If you like having the ability to free market products online, then you should voice your opinions, because if this bill is passed it will have a profound effect on Internet Marketing.
In fact, here is another Crazy and Insane thing about this bill, again from a post by Timothy B. Lee,
The legislation falls far short of constitutional due process requirements. Legal injunctions would be issued upon the attorney general’s mere accusation of “infringing activities.” Not only would the owner of the domain name not have an opportunity to contest the allegations, he would not even have to be notified. And the parties who would receive notice under the legislation—DNS registrars and server administrators—will typically have no knowledge of or connection to the accused domain, which means they would have neither the knowledge or the motivation to dispute unreasonable orders.
This is especially problematic because we are talking about constitutionally-protected speech here. The Supreme Court has long held that prior restraints of speech are unconstitutional. The websites on the government’s blacklist may have a large amount of constitutionally-protected speech on them, in addition to allegedly-infringing material. Not only does COICA not require the government to prove its allegations before a domain name is blocked, it doesn’t require the government to ever prove them.
If you want to have any freedom at all in the future, then you should sign the petition.
One thing for sure, this is a danger to our way of life and our very freedom to express ourselves online.