The 'Stop Online
Piracy Act' Follows 'Logic of Plunder'
line with the development of the existing predatory economic model, the world's
military and economic powers have imposed on other nations the obligation to
respect and standardize regulations regarding copyrights and intellectual
property. These favor multinational corporations, which are able to obtain, through
patent, the ownership of plants, human genes, religious icons and cultural events
that in many cases are the result of selfless labor of many individuals and
Wikipedia goes dark: The power of the Net became all-too-clear to the record and film industries this week, when Wikipedia, Google and many other Internet heavyweights did their own special kind of lobbying to defeat a Congressional attempt to make ISP's enforce federal copyright laws. Now, the measure won't even be brought to the Senate floor for debate.
The protest that took place
yesterday [January 19] against the Stop Online Piracy Act (known by its English
which is being discussed in the U.S. Congress, gathered the support of about 60,000
Web pages in that country alone, among them Wikipedia, Google, Youtube and
Amazon. Along with these expressions of rejection, fifty lawmakers of different
political stripes also supported the action, Even Republican Senators Marco
Rubio and John Cornyn, who were two of the main backers of SOPA, withdrew their
support for the initiative.
It is important to remember
that if approved, the aforementioned legislative proposal would impose on Internet
providers in our neighbor country the responsibility of "monitoring"
and detecting Web pages that share content considered "illegal" - images,
music, videos or text protected by copyright - forcing search engines like Google
to remove such pages. This would be like allowing the Washington government, through
its Justice Department, to shut down sites hosted in that country without a
warrant, even put users at risk of imprisonment if they share - on personal Web
pages, social networks or e-mails - links or contents copied without
permission, even if they don't seek to benefit economically from their
The corollary to this attempt
to stifle the free flow of information over the Internet is a system of
intellectual property that, first of all, favors large corporations and follows
the logic of plunder. In line with the development of the existing predatory
economic model, the world's military and economic powers have imposed on other nations
the obligation to respect and standardize regulations regarding copyrights and
intellectual property. These favor multinational corporations, which are able to obtain,
through patent, the ownership of plants, human genes, religious icons and
cultural events of various kinds that in many cases are the result of the
selfless labor of many individuals and groups.
So, rather than control or combat
piracy or the allegedly defending jobs in cultural industries, the obvious
reason for this legislation is to defend the interests of major music companies,
publishing, film, pharmaceutical firms, among others, even if this results in irrational
extremes like virtually shutting down entire networks.
Unfortunately, the pretensions
of registering trademarks for Web content is not only confined to the United
Stated, but extends to countries like Spain and it's so-called Sinde Act, which was passed
in last March, and even Mexico, with the tabling of a bill, at the request of PAN
legislator Federico Döring, to reform federal laws on copyright and industrial
property, which, according to several experts, is a Mexican version of SOPA.
In a situation in which the Internet
has become an essential method of creation, dissemination and preserving human
knowledge, the various social, political, scientific and business operators that
share a network should at least consider whether the defense of their
individual benefit in terms of intellectual property threatens the interest of
the group or not.
It is to be hoped that in U.S.
lawmakers will maintain at least a sliver of political sense and reject the passage
of a measure that would not only be a monumental mistake with national elections
coming to the country in November, but it would also impact all users of the Web
around the world, and would constitute a setback for the freedom and
development of knowledge and culture in contemporary societies.