As most of you probably know, today many popular websites have “gone on strike” to protest the anti-piracy legislation moving through congress.
My favorite television program is Chicago Tonight, on Chicago’s public television station WTTW. Last night, as I watched an episode on this protest and the discussion of copyright protection vs. free speech, I couldn’t help but think of recent APDF Exchanges featuring Joe Hustein of Stanford University and our discussions on intellectual property.
Essentially, as the video clip below points out, it’s extremely difficult to stop all of the “pirates” (especially since most of them are in foreign countries that the U.S. does not have jurisdiction over), so this legislation would make the Googles, YouTubes, Facebooks, etc., of the world “responsible.” One piece of the legislation has already been deleted – that the government could literally “shut down” or “block” a website such as Google, if pirated information was found. Watch the story below:
A number of prominent websites wrote a public letter in the New York Times, stating:
“We support the bills’ stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting,” the letter said. “Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites.”
As design firms, we face similar IP and copyright infringements. A difficult challenge indeed – the Internet!
Share your thoughts on ways to combat this ever-growing problem.
Cathy Brownlee, Executive Director
The business resource for design firms
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