Rupert Murdoch Pushing to Restrict the Internet

17th December 2011

By Madison Ruppert

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Today the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee deliberated over the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA for short.

As I have previously outlined, this legislation, like the sister legislation in the Senate known as the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA, is incredibly dangerous.

This is being pushed under the auspices of combating internet privacy and protecting the intellectual property of content creators the world over, it is actually quite dangerous and has led many internet pioneers to speak out against it.

There are powerful lobbies pushing on both sides of this debate, with roughly 350 or more large corporations, along with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation media empire, in favor of the bill and internet giants like Google, Yahoo! and AOL opposing it.

According to a report published by the Los Angeles Times, both sides have spent more than $90 million lobbying for support amongst legislators and the public alike.

A group of internet companies have even gone as far as to publish full-page advertisements this month in a range of major newspapers with considerably sizeable distributions.

The advertisements warned that the pending legislation would be setting a dangerous precedent and the simple fact is that the support for this legislation is not as massive in the public sphere as it seems to be among the major media outlets, Hollywood, and some lawmakers.

According to a survey conducted in the United States by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, the public is nearly evenly split on the issue of punishing individuals for downloading illegally obtained music or movies.

With a mere 52 percent of Americans supporting such penalties, it is clear that this legislation would be controversial if passed and implemented as individuals like Murdoch are expecting and hoping it to be.

This nearly even split is likely due to the fact that so many Americans, and people around the world, have been guilty of downloading pirated content in one way or another.

In many cases, this isn’t even conscious as many people have watched a video on YouTube for which the uploader did not own the rights.

While this seems harmless to most people (and I would argue that it is indeed harmless), this pending legislation would make it a lot more serious.

The entirety of YouTube could be shut down just because someone uploaded a video for which they did not hold the rights, just like any other website that allows users to freely upload and create content.

According to the Princeton Survey Research Associates International study, a whopping 46 percent of Americans have downloaded copyrighted content, although in reality this number is likely much larger.

I seriously doubt that this includes people who have watched a news clip on YouTube uploaded by someone other than the corporation that holds the rights or a TV show under similar circumstances.

The fact is that many people do not understand how easily this legislation could be used to target websites like Wake Up World, where a single copyrighted picture inadvertently uploaded to the website could be used to shut down the entire site.

While this legislation is only being drafted in the United States, it will indeed affect the entire world’s access to the internet as so much of the infrastructure is located here.

I believe that this is something that everyone should take notice of, as if this passes, it is indeed setting a dangerous precedent that could very well change the entire internet as we know it, and not for the better.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at [email protected]

 


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  • Konstantin

    It’s the foot in the door technique. They say it’s about downloading, but the next thing we know natural health websites will be banned and only official “news” will be found online. Once the ball gets rolling, internet freedom is as good as done. That’s the real danger with this issue.

  • Deanna

    How is this even fair? Think about how the internet beneficial?! I mean, I live miles away from my family and the fact that I can sign into facebook and my emails, just to keep in touch makes me feel like I’m right there with them. Instead of looking at the negatives, because there are some things that can’t be perfectly helped in accordance to how we want them. That’s not even possible, since we are all living in a unification of this world, we need to come to a common ground that would at least please everyone to a point of common-agreement! To take the internet away, completely would put a lot of people into depression! A lot of people who miss their loved ones, who wouldn’t be able to video cam with their loved ones… Friends… And to be honest, I found the man of my dreams over the internet. A love story that I’ll never forget! The internet has its benefits! We need to think about that. We can’t help or change, the fact that there are those who sign into youtube and upload videos that aren’t originally made by them… We just can’t help that! Why does this bug people so much? To be honest, if I didn’t view some of those videos, I wouldn’t of never gotten to the next level in my X-Box 360 Games. Seriously! We all need each other! Our internet as a world-wide nation, is a connection-bond as so to speak to keep us all together in a unity. We need each other as much as possible. Don’t take away our Communication-Link… Please! Please think about the consequences of what may happen if the internet disappears!!! Think about it. The pros will definitely out-weight the cons. Trust Me! The one(s) enforcing to rid the internet, must not like the internet and their personal opinion doesn’t have to apply to the whole world. It would put the whole world into a terrible-state… It would feel like a world-wide punishment… trust me! Think about it! These are my thoughts on this!!! Please, for the Love of Love itself…. Keep the internet just where it is for everyone’s access… Besides, everyone… Including businesses, NEED THE INTERNET! Just think about it. I can give you a million reasons why we should keep the internet alive and none at all, on why it shouldn’t stay active… — Sincerely, a truth-speaker!

  • Deanna

    Internet Pages should remain as it is… It shouldn’t be tampered with. We should up the admin and moderation settings, okay… Keep the Webpages just as they are… Things will in no doubt, stream across the internet. We can’t help that. If certain webpages, including my own get taken down. That will upset me to no-end! If we can’t be free with expression and share each other’s creativity, then this world is losing its credibility to excel… Still, there are more pros as to keeping the websites/webpages and Internet just as it is… If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.. Period! Just because someone got a bit upset over paranoia doesn’t meant the whole world has to be affected by it… I may of misunderstood, this post, in my last comment. However, it still applies.. Freedom of expression and freedom of speech… Don’t even take this away from us all!