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The "Digital Bill of Rights" debuted at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City on Monday. The document draft comes from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), two key figures in the battle against SOPA.
Issa and Wyden created the Digital Bill of Rights because they were concerned about what seemed like a legal oxymoron: lawmakers trying to regulate the Internet without understanding how individuals use it.
"Government is flying blind, interfering and regulating without understanding even the basics," Issa wrote on his website, KeepTheWebOpen.com (you can find a draft of the Digital Bill of Rights there). "Where can a digital citizen turn for protection against the powerful?"
At the conference, Wyden likened this project to a digital version of the "Constitutional convention." It's a convention that Issa and Wyden hope Internet users will participate in. On Issa's site, he openly encourages readers to consider the current draft and suggest revisions (at the publication of this post, several individuals have already logged in to take that offer). Currently, the ten key rights are as follows:
My immediate reaction: Good for creators -- not so good for big business. Of course ANY government intervention is suspect. It gives a governing body a template from which to regulate in the future. We already have net neutrality, why do we need this? Do we need the USA to tell us what we're already doing is just fine by them? I guess. However, when considering the the alternatives of SOPA/PIPA ... it was only a matter of time that would have to be some government intervention. As far as Hollywood is concerned and their weakening cry of "fight piracy" which in my opinion is a masked attempt to control the pipes of the internet, there's little good in this -- individuals creating their own content and sharing it -- for free -- that's not what they want to see. So, they need to either "join the parade" or continue to unravel ... Television has taken a massive hit over the last half decade and films are by and large repeats from previous repeats. And there are newer lines of distribution for newer content cropping up every day every where in the world -- which THEY WILL NEVER CONTROL -- EVER! So, welcome to the New World Order -- a world digital democracy sponsored and endorsed by the USA!
I like this idea and agree in part with Issa and Wyden. However, there are unscrupulous elements out there (hackers/content bandits/spammers, etc) screwing it up for everybody, who must be stopped. Issa and Wyden crafted this Bill from one side of the coin, the flip side are all content owners out there, including web series creators who just want their intellectual property protected... hence the SOPA initiative, which ultimately got swept under the rug. I look at it from both sides and believe both can agree to be right and find a fair solution to the matter (which is easier said than executed.) :)
Agreed, Rich. We try to keep our streets in our cities and towns in the real world safe too and no matter how many laws are passed and cops put on the beat, crime occurs daily. In a free society there is freedom and freedom gives some license to commit crime. We take the good with the bad. That is looked at by some as "instability" ... and instability doesn't help the business environment ... for the time being, they're going to have to take a back seat and watch the digital citizens govern and police themselves. By and large, there are forces out there that are much more damaging to the entertainment business than piracy. Eyeballs are being drawn to other distractions. Games, videos, social networking, to name just a few. And a lot of this stuff is free. That hurts a lot of people used to making content and reaping major profits. This is people over profit, for the time being. And who no how long that time will be. And there still will be plenty of profit for those who remain ahead of the curve and thrive in the new environment.
Didn't I hear something recently about the UN trying to regulate the internet too... Crazy stuff.
It may come to that because already Non-US citizens are saying "Who the Hell does the US think they are telling the world how to run the internet?" So, an international governing body may have to take it a step further ... and of course their hand is being pushed by the US. It's all about appearances. The internet, were it confined within the US borders, would have been regulated back in 2000. But, in many places outside the US, it has already taken over as the dominant cultural media force. In places like South Korea, etc, who watches TV? TV is so last generation in more and more places every year.
Personally I don't think TV will ever be obsolete. I still watch TV, but watch less of it because I'm always on the go. We just have to figure out a new way to do old things... like watch TV on iPhone/iPad. :)