Educators Worried About SOPA/PIPA's Impact On Education

from the as-they-should-be dept

Another day, and another group of folks points out how SOPA/PIPA will cause problems. This time, it’s a large group of folks involved in the production of educational content and services — including folks associated with MIT’s OpenCourseware project, the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Harvard, Stanford and many other places, pointing out that SOPA/PIPA threaten the innovation and adoption of technology in the education space:

Today, there are myriad sites that encourage lawful distribution, remixing and redistribution of educational content (e.g. Curriki, Connexions, P2PU, YouTube, CK12). These services are democratizing access to educational content.

Of course, sometimes they are misused. Fortunately, today the Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbors craft a careful balance — a content owner would issue a DMCA takedown to remove the content, but otherwise the platform is not held liable for alleged copyright infringement.

These bills would undermine this framework and chill the creation of educational content. Sites that host or use user-generated content could be required to monitor their site for infringing material, and could potentially have their domain name blocked by the government if content owners thought that infringement was occurring on that site. This represents an entirely new legal power given to content owners to control the flow of content online and to shape the very foundation of the Internet. Indeed, it could lead to entire sites becoming unavailable due to the behavior of a tiny minority of confused or malicious users.

Will Congress still ignore all of these complaints?

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Comments on “Educators Worried About SOPA/PIPA's Impact On Education”

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777ark says:

The plaintiffs, Universal and Walt Disney Productions on behalf of the Hollywood majors, charged that the ability of the Betamax to copy programming off air was an infringement of copyright and sought to halt the sale of the machines. The studios were ostensibly trying to protect film and television producers from the economic consequences of unauthorized mass duplication and distribution. However, Universal might have also wanted to prevent Betamax from capturing a significant segment of the fledgling home video market before its parent company, MCA, could introduce its DiscoVision laserdisc system, which was to scheduled for test marketing in the fall of 1977.

The Betamax case was filed in the U.S. Federal District Court of Los Angeles in November 1976 and went to trial on 30 January 1979. In its defense, Sony asserted that a consumer had the absolute right to record programs at home for private use. It drew an analogy to the audio cassette recorder, which was introduced in the 1960s and had made music tapers out of millions of American teenagers. Although the practice had not been tested in the courts, Sony believed a tradition had been established.

Handing down its decision in October 1979, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of Sony, stating that taping off air for entertainment or time shifting constituted fair use; that copying an entire program also qualified as fair use; that set manufacturers could profit from the sale of VCRs; and that the plaintiffs did not prove that any of the above practices constituted economic harm to the motion picture industry.
then betamax / cassette tapes now computers different time different tools. mark

FM Hilton (profile) says:

Congress doesn't care

Congress can and will ignore these complaints, without batting an eyelash.
They’ve always been on the side of their personal constituents: the lobbyists and the
companies that pay for their influence to be heard, and acted upon.

Money talks, and you know the rest of the line.

As the saying goes:
“We have the best government money can buy.”

Seegras (profile) says:

Denial Of Service Law

If one legislates something, one should always consider the possibilities of abuse.

– How easy is it to frame someone with this law?

– How big are the repercussions against the framing entity if the fact that it’s an abuse becomes public?

With “possession of child porn”, it’s reasonable easy to frame someone (especially since computer-generated pictures “appearing to depict children in pornographic poses” also qualifies, anyone can produce the necessary material). However, the repercussions for doing so are somewhat serious.

With “Copyright”, its also fairly easy to frame somebody. The repercussions are usally none. What SOPA/PIPA/etc add to the mix is that not only is even easier to frame somebody (because no objections are possible) and repercussions are nonexistent, but the consequences for the party framed are much more serious.

What I do not understand is that a shitload (ah, really) of congresspeople do not even seem to consider these matters. I can understand if a lawmaker lacks technical expertise, I can even understand if he has an agenda set by the MAFIAA. But that a lawmaker does not recognize the dangers within the law itself, that I do not understand.

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