December 13, 2011
Jen Rubin makes the case today that the anti-piracy bills pending in the House, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Senate, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), are likely unconstitutional. The bills essentially call for censorship of online speech in such a way, and with so little recourse for those accused of “infringing” on intellectual property rights, that the bills will likely not survive the scrutiny of the courts even if they do survive in Congress. But if Congress does pass these laws, it will be a testament to the enormous power and influence of two Democratic special interest groups—the Hollywood lobby, comprised of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, and the trial lawyers.
If you’re wondering why lawyers and Hollywood folks would get behind legislation to censor the Internet, you only need to listen to former Senator Chris Dodd, now the head of the MPAA, who last week explained to Variety that the lobby is only asking for the same kind of power to censor the Internet as the government has in the People’s Republic of China:
“When the Chinese told Google that they had to block sites or they couldn’t do [business] in their country, they managed to figure out how to block sites.”