Net Neutrality? COICA? Strikegently and mediafire could be doomed!

Usually I dont post about things political in nature because I suspect that most of us, like myself, listen and talk about music to get away from the real world, so to speak.  You get tired of the political BS, the promises of “change” and all the other nonsense. However, we must pay close attention nevertheless.

I however, am worried because the sites I watch, cherish, and enjoy such as Strikegently, mediafire, fastpasstv, and other are in real danger of suddenly being seized by the government at any time.  I encourage everyone to watch carefully for the signs of the government using it’s heavy hand at the bidding of certain favored parties to force ideas such as net neutrality, copyrights and piracy legislation, and the like.

Anyway to get you in the same angry mood I’m in, I suggest listening to the following Whitechapel songs while you read through the rest of this rant.

Wired posted a troubling article yesterday. Apparently the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill which allows the attorney general to “shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed “central to the activity” of the site — regardless if the website has actually committed a crime.” 

This bill will essentially allow the Attorney General and any other over-zealous government cronies to turn off a website on the suspicion that it may have as much as a link to something that is “copyright.”  Say goodbye to Strikegently, ILYBD, mediafire, and every site with a similar nature that you have come to love.  There will be no trial and no verdict concerning the sites in question, because the Attorney General and whatever Sauron like minions he may have don’t need one in this bill.

The “Combating Online Infringment and Counterfeits Act” dubbed COICA is much scarier then any of us may realize.

 …But the law’s critics do not believe that giving the federal government the right to shut down websites at will based upon a vague and arbitrary standard of evidence, even if no law-breaking has been proved, is a particularly good idea. “

The really scary part here is the kind of track record the government holds when it comes to dealing with and/or rectifying mistakes. If you’ve mistakenly over paid in taxes, good luck getting that back. It takes months to get something as basic as a FOID card or even a reply from the government about why your 2 year old relative can’t possibly fulfill his or her mistaken jury duty summons.  If your site gets shut down by mistake, good luck getting it back on.   So for all you love and hold dear OPPOSE INTERNET CENSORSHIP and the hideous idea of government enforced NET NEUTRALITY.

You might not have anything at all illegal on your site.  You may just simply post links to material hosted elsewhere. You may however have something as innocent as a link to that youtube video of a recent concert which a record label decided to claim as copyright and find out the next morning that access to your site has been blocked and/or that your site has been shut down because of that little link.  The most interesting part is that some of our most prominent politicians have been screaming about China’s censorship, but somehow that same kind of censorship isn’t only acceptable here, but necessary. 
Does anyone actually expect this to force people to buy their music, their movies and their software? To the music industry I say this:   I for one won’t buy an album till I’ve gotten a copy of it first, listened to it, and made up my mind as to if its worth purchasing. If that privilege and advantage disappears, I for one simply won’t bother to purchase anything from the band who doesn’t have a majority of their music available for free download.

I will admit that I download alot of music and a bill like this would make it much harder for me to find free music to download.  But thats just a small concern when looking at the future. Sites that posts download links to bands such as ILYBD are the reason that I have even bothered to go to shows, to buy merch, and to go out and buy a bands album.  I know I am not the only one in this situation.

– Posted by: SyKo | 11/19/10 | 12:10 pm  On top of that, the few things I have purchased in the way of media in the last 10 years: almost everything was something I had previously seen online streamed or downloaded. I haven’t purchased any music or movies I can think of off hand IN YEARS that I didn’t check first to see if it was worth buying.”

I’ve seen some good points brought up by commenters on this story:

– “Now, on another note, WITHOUT shutting down the internet entirely, you’ll never stop people from receiving warez or .mp3s or .avis or any other file type. No one can prevent me or anyone else from receiving an encrypted, compressed file over a chat client like Skype. I have friends all over the world, and this will stop nothing. It’s not like they were going to get any money from us to begin with, so pfft at their claim of losses.”

 We aren’t China or Iran yet, but we are following them at an alarming speed with bills like this. What makes any of us think that this won’t be used in the future to shut down sites that the government doesn’t like? What makes us think they won’t simply label material on websites as “dangerous to Americans”, or my personal favorite “hate speech”?  The next Suicide Silence album for all we know could be branded hate speech

We need to fight this bill in every way possible. I hate to ask you, but please, call your senator, your congressmen, you know the drill. I plan on calling that sneaky lying Durbin myself and telling him just what I think of his “yes” vote on this.  There is a petition going around which I encourage you all to sign. (You all know how skeptical I am of anything with the word “progress” in it nowadays.

 So I encourage you to watch for the signs of the government using it’s heavy hand at the bidding of certain favored parties. Watch, cherish, and enjoy sites like Strikegently, mediafire, fastpasstv, and others, because they might suddenly be seized by the government the next day.

One Reply to “Net Neutrality? COICA? Strikegently and mediafire could be doomed!”

  1. Well I seriously hope they don't shut down mediafire or 4shared because I spent AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF TIME saving a bunch of dj mixes, software installation tools, and music on those sites – that I use for dj'ing. It's much more convenient than having to carry cd's / records…etc. everywhere, and it's convenient since this laptop doesn't have a cd tray (so I can just download what I need from my own mediafire page). All the music I have saved on mediafire is set to "locked", therefore, only I can download or find it (unless, of course, I choose to personally share it with someone else individually by providing a direct link, which I very very rarely do, and I mean extremely rare occasions). I hope that if they do want to shut down a site, they at least not shut it down completely, but make it set to where only you yourself can download the music you yourself have stored. Just shutting down the site(s) would be similar to people putting things in storage only to someday find out that the storage went out of business, especially for those who have paid memberships to those storages! Maybe I should've saved all that music somewhere else. I guess…. I guess I could spend another day or two uploading and saving music in an out of country site, although I really don't want to have to take an entire day's worth of time doing this AGAIN….

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