Digital rights advocates wary of new ‘six strikes’ initiative for online piracy

The newest attempt to thwart illegal filesharing launched Feb. 25, and while the “six strikes and you’re out” initiative seems to offer light penalties, digital rights advocates are concerned that it lacks transparency, The Guardian reports.

The Copyright Alert System (CAS) was devised by a coalition of internet service providers (ISPs), content owners, and the government to curb illegal downloading by alerting “casual infringers” when illegal filesharing is detected on their IP address…

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After protest, Congress puts off internet piracy bill

Critics said the bills would result in censorship and could add a major burden to colleges and universities.

Caving to a massive campaign by internet services and their millions of users, which also included universities such as Syracuse and MIT, Congress on Jan. 20 indefinitely postponed legislation to stop the online piracy of movies and music that is costing U.S. companies billions of dollars every year. Critics said the bills would result in censorship and could add a major burden to colleges and universities.

The demise, at least for the time being, of the anti-piracy bills was a clear victory for Silicon Valley over Hollywood, which has campaigned for a tougher response to internet piracy. The legislation also would cover the counterfeiting of drugs and car parts.

Congress’ qualms underscored how internet users can use their collective might to block those who want to change the system.…Read More

Online piracy bill could be major burden for colleges

SOPA has not yet been voted on in Congress.

Campus librarians and IT staffers could be legally required to comb through digital traffic for signs of copyright violations if Congress passes online piracy legislation that has met stiff opposition from higher-education groups that see the law as broad censoring of the internet.

The House of Representative’s Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act, backed by the influential entertainment industry as a way to crack down on web-based copyright violations, could impose a lasting workload on college and university officials charged with tracking online piracy on their school’s network.

SOPA, introduced in October by a bipartisan group of legislators, would let the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders secure court orders against websites accused of contributing to internet copyright infringement.…Read More