reported recently on the new threat to the free internet, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short) which is currently being discussed by Congress.
Worrying enough as it is!
However, it seems that SOPA
, which we thought was dead and buried, is now rearing its ugly head yet again.
Apparently, Chris Dodd - the head of the Hollywood Lobby - is now bragging that he's working on a new insider deal to push through legislation similar to SOPA.
In January this year, Dodd found his abilities were called into question when a massive online campaign supported by Google, Wikipedia, Reddit and many other online contenders shut down the MPAA-backed SOPA legislation, which was intended to toughen Internet privacy laws and to target copyright infringers overseas.
Dodd was apparently angry when the Obama issued a statement saying that the White House had "grave concerns" about the impact of this bill on Internet freedoms.
Dodd then apparently suggested in an interview with Fox News that "Hollywood would cut off campaign funds for President Obama and other members of congress who had withdrawn support of SOPA". This threat was widely criticized.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter
this week, the following exchange occurred:
THR: What is the status of the Stop Online Piracy Act? Is the legislation dead, or will there be compromise between Hollywood and Silicon Valley?
Dodd: I regret that Steve Jobs isn't around today. At least he understood the connection between content and technology. The fellow who started eBay, Jeff Skoll, gets it [Skoll is founder and chairman of the film company Participant Media]. There are not a huge number of people who understand that content and technology absolutely need each other, so I'm counting on the fact that there are people like Jeff and others who are smart and highly respected in both communities. Between now and sometime next year [after the presidential election], the two industries need to come to an understanding.
THR: Are there conversations going on now?
Dodd: I'm confident that's the case, but I'm not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive.
THR: Did you feel personally blindsided by Obama over SOPA?
Dodd: I'm not going to revisit the events of last winter. I'll only say to you that I'm confident he's using his good relationships in both communities to do exactly what you and I have been talking about.
THR: Just as SOPA was falling apart, U.S. and New Zealand authorities arrested Kim Dotcom, the flamboyant mastermind behind Megaupload, one of the world's biggest downloading sites. Did the timing strike you as odd?
Dodd: It seemed a little too coincidental. I take my daughters to school every morning, and I was in the playground one day and this woman comes up to me and says: "I just want to say hello. I work at the Justice Department, and I've been involved in this Megaupload case for the past several years." And I said: "That's interesting. Let me ask you something: Why did this guy get arrested at this particular time?" She said: "Oh, we've known about the date for the last year because it was his birthday. It was a big party, and we knew all the assets would be there."
So, just in case a revamped SOPA does indeed start looking like becoming a reality, visit the Demand Progress
website to sign a petition.