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Old 12-01-2011, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: U.S destroying free speech?

Originally Posted by Pe2k Voices View Post
Agreed completely, but as I said, it is free speech to say something like "Death to America" just as it is to burn the U.S flag or put flames to the Qur'an.
You're right, and to my knowledge there is no part of the Patriot act that forbids that.

Originally Posted by Wile E Coyote View Post
Not to rain on the parade here, but has anyone here actually read up on what the law entails? This bill is actually designed to be an anti-piracy act. The only websites which are supposed to be effected by this law are those with "primarily
designed or operated for the purpose of, has only limited purpose or use other than, or is marketed by its operator or another acting in concert with that operator for use in, offering goods or services in a manner that engages in, [...] a violation of section 1201 of title 17, United States Code" (source, Page 25-26). This part of the law, Section 1201, Title 17, merely states that it's illegal to try and circumvent copyrights through technological means (source).

Even though this is just a very small portion of the total bill, and a very conservative interpretation of it, the only thing that this law will enable is for companies to shut down sites that are providing products that must normally be purchased, for free. For example; torrent sites with video game cracks, free mp3 download sites, and similar sites. I highly doubt that sites like Youtube, PE2K, or other legitimate sites will be effected. Even though Youtube does always take down videos that are put up for entertainment purposes only, and therefore are protected by copyright laws.

All in all, I honestly am not against this law being passed, because I know that as long as I don't steal money from people trying to make honest money by providing something that I desire.

That being said, I do see where people are getting nervous. And the principle of corporations being able to wield a legal axe whenever they please also doesn't thrill me, though this small step is well within their rights to do.
My issue isn't this bill itself, although the wording is at points a bit vague and nerve-wracking. My issue is the very concept of the government being able to censor websites at all. The internet isn't rooted on any one nation's sovereign soil, identical in nature to international waters in that no one country can lay claim to it. More importantly, though, it is the pinnacle of human communication, the ultimate forum for the free exchange of information, ideas, concepts, products. The moment a governmental authority gains any control over it, it ceases to be that, and instead becomes what the government allows it to be. And even if there were somehow a scenario where a totally incorruptible, idyllic government which suppressed nothing and harmed no one without intent somehow managed to defy the very core of human nature and come into existence, that still couldn't be allowed to happen. Not to the one bastion of completely free expression still in existence.
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