Revenge of the Internet Nerds
Fear the Wiki-power! A historic online protest by Wikipedia and other websites against proposed antipiracy legislation has startled web surfers, stunned
It's a tangled saga, but this much is clear: Putting the handcuffs on Internet piracy is a worthy goal. Unfortunately,
The problem is not trivial. As much as 6 percent of the U.S. gross national product is generated by industries supported by intellectual property laws, according to a recent Congressional Quarterly report, which found that almost one-fourth of all Internet traffic worldwide infringes on copyright laws.
Website operators say
For the uninitiated, no, I am not referring to a couple of participants in the latest British royal wedding.
The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, in the House and the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act, or PIPA, in the
Reddit, a social news website where registered users submit content, announced they would go dark on
That was a big deal. Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website, according to an October report by Alexa Internet. It receives a staggering 25 million hits a day, according to comScore. For one day, all of those visitors learned about SOPA and PIPA, whether they previously had heard of the bills or not.
Among other protesters,
Rewriting the bill in a way that can satisfy both the websites and the copyright holders won't be easy. Both sides oppose piracy, but they're far apart on how best to fight it.
For now, our existing federal laws aren't bad, as evidenced by a major FBI bust of the file-sharing giant Megaupload on the day after the Wiki-blackout. Seven people were charged, some of them in
Can we all get along? The Megaupload bust, after a two-year probe, shows the current laws work. But
I understand why the movie and music industries are impatient. They want new models in the Internet age that will be as profitable as the old ones. As a veteran of the old-school print media, I feel their pain. But media enterprises cannot rely on
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