Mozilla joined with others to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act(SOPA)~Internet Censorship

Mozilla has joined with other web giants including AOL, Facebook, eBay, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo, and Zynga to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which is going in front of the US Congress.

Under the new law, the US could force internet providers to block any website on suspicion of violating copyright or trademark legislation, or even failing to sufficiently police their users' activities. And, because so much of the internet's hosts and hardware are located in the US, their blacklist would clamp down on the free web for all of us.

The SOPA act has been controversial since it came into existence, with many citizens and companies opposing it. Mozilla stated their position in the following way.

“This marks the first time we’ve come together with these giants of the Internet on any policy issue. The decision to inform legislators and users of our serious reservations with SOPA was a no-brainer and fell into place quickly over just a few days of discussion. We believe The Stop Online Piracy Act threatens our ability as an industry to continue to offer our many important software and web services to the hundreds of millions of users who rely on them, as well as the many employees and developers we support to innovate these technologies.”

Mozilla launched a page that protest SOPA, check here:
https://www.mozilla.org/sopa

This is what placed in that page:
Protect the Internet
Help us stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation

On November 16th, Congress holds hearings on the first American Internet censorship system. This bill can pass. If it does, the Internet and free speech will never be the same.

Join us to stop this bill.

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Why?
A few infringing links are enough to justify censoring an entire site, blocking good content along with the bad.

How?
The US will be able to block a site’s web traffic, ad traffic and search traffic using the same website censorship methods used by China, Iran and Syria.

Who's at risk?
Your favorite websites both inside and outside the US could be blocked based on an infringement claim.

Could this pass?
Yes. The Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act have widespread support in Congress and are expected to pass.


Read this to know about SOPA:
What Is SOPA? & How You Can Stop The First American Internet Censorship System


Here’s a copy of letter to Congressional leaders:

Dear Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley, Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Conyers:

The undersigned Internet and technology companies write to express our concern with legislative measures that have been introduced in the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives, S. 968 (the “PROTECT IP Act”) and H.R. 3261 (the “Stop Online Piracy Act”).

We support the bills’ stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign “rogue” websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting. 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 web sites. We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation, as well as to our Nation’s cybersecurity. We cannot support these bills as written and ask that you consider more targeted ways to combat foreign “rogue” websites dedicated to copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting, while preserving the innovation and dynamism that has made the internet such an important driver of economic growth and job creation.

One issue merits special attention. We are very concerned that the bills as written would seriously undermine the effective mechanism Congress enacted in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to provide a safe harbor for internet companies that act in good faith to remove infringing content from their sites. Since their enactment in 1998, the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions for online service providers have been a cornerstone of the U.S. Internet and technology industry’s growth and success. While we work together to find additional ways to target foreign rogue sites, we should not jeopardize a foundational structure that has worked for content owners and Internet companies alike and provides certainty to innovators with new ideas for how people create, find, discuss, and share information lawfully online.

We are proud to be part of an industry that has been crucial to U.S. economic growth and job creation. A recent McKinsey Global Institute Report found that the Internet accounts for 3.4 percent of GDP in the 13 countries that they studied, and, in the U.S., the Internet’s contribution to GDP is even larger. If Internet consumption and expenditure were a sector, its contribution to GDP would be bigger than energy, agriculture, communication, mining, or utilities. In addition, the Internet industry has increased productivity for small and medium-sized businesses by 10%. We urge you not to risk either this success or the tremendous benefits these new platforms have brought to hundreds of millions of Americans and people around the world.

We stand ready to work with the Congress to develop targeted solutions to addressing the problem of foreign rogue websites.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely,

AOL
eBay
Facebook
Google
LinkedIn
Mozilla
Twitter
Yahoo!
Zynga
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