|Google poll: Public says to block copyright infringing sites|
|Analysis Talk about an inconvenient fact. A survey into US attitudes to internet piracy shows strong public support for blocking access to websites guilty of serial copyright infringement. No fewer than 58 per cent support the idea of ISPs blocking the pirate sites, and 36 per cent disagree with this. Of the respondents, 61 per cent want sites like Facebook to take more action to screen for infringing material. |
This may not be what the corporate sponsor Google, which benefits from internet piracy and fights enforcement proposals, had in mind when it funded the research. Google is currently leading the opposition to the new SOPA legislation in the US, which obliges service providers to take greater responsibility.
Perhaps, as in Brecht's poem, Google wishes "to dissolve the people and elect another", until they get the answer they want. In fact, that seems to be exactly what happened here.
This sounds an awful lot like those PSAs where 90% of respondents say they do such-and-such, and 10% actually do. It would be fun to look at survey participants' browsing history.
I wonder, do they know what they're talking about? "internet piracy", "copyright infringement".
These are two totally different issues. The first means someone takes illegally your work/product/whatever and gives it out as it is.
The second someone takes your work (in many cases legally) but then he publishes/resells/whatever by twisting the original authors names, removing references of the license etc., in general pretending he owns the work.
Both cases are illegal but the second one is way worse as not only someone is stealing but tries to disqualify the original producer or author.
Until Google (or another official keeper of the web) can figure out who publishes content first, and who owns the copyrights to it, this is all useless.
This entire concept is dangerous as heck, since there is no "keeper of the official records" on the internet. Sure, the idea of it is great and the 58% that support locking the door on law-breakers makes sense, but the number of innocent collateral damage in a situation like this is beyond scale.
I hate finding my content scraped, copied and rewritten all over the place too, but this is too far reaching, and would be widely abused.
Well, at least one thing is for sure. If this legislation passes anybody running a website from outside the US would be insane to keep using any US based infrastructure.
So US webhosters or payment providers like Paypal can kiss many of their customers from abroad goodbye.
Copyright laws are different from country to country, the expiration dates of copyrights are different, and what is legal in one country is illegal in another one. Why should anybody risk to get his websites, ads, or payments shut down because suddenly the US governemnt feels the urge to police the world?