SOPA and PIPA unacceptable

The NZ Open Source Society is taking part in a global protest (Wikipedia is blacking out its entire site today) against proposed US legislation, called SOPA ("Stop Online Piracy Act") and PIPA ("Protect IP Act") ostensibly intended to stop so-called online "Piracy."

Like all laws devised by embarrassingly naïve legislative bodies (the US Congress), the Acts, if passed, will have almost no impact on Internet copyright infringement, but will have broad implications for the freedom of Internet users worldwide if it is passed. These acts represent the corrupting influence of corporate entities on the US legislative process: SOPA and PIPA are wildly unpopular with the US people, but are being pushed through Congress nonetheless.

As of yesterday, the Whitehouse has offered the world a brief reprieve from SOPA, recognising how unpopular the legislation is, and requesting a rethink, but this is definitely not over.

We encourage you to read the excellent blog post by InternetNZ's Vikram Kumar on SOPA's implications for New Zealand and his guest piece in the National Business Review.