opinion

FSC Addresses Concerns on SOPA Internet Regulation

Diane Duke

Free Speech Coalition (FSC) today sent a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committee, addressing concerns about the recently proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) on behalf of adult industry businesses. Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas) introduced the controversial bill, which proposes strict regulation of the Internet in an effort to curb online piracy and other cyber-crimes.

SOPA has been endorsed by mainstream entertainment companies and trade organizations in favor monitoring, prosecuting and penalizing “rogue” websites and users that illegally download content, in an attempt to control online piracy.

Many Internet companies and free Internet activist organizations have taken an oppositional stance to SOPA, which they fear would allow governmental regulators overly broad jurisdiction over the Internet and may lead to censorship and potential violations of user privacy, among other issues.

“FSC supports aggressive action to stop online piracy and is in favor of some of the components contained in Representative Smith’s proposed legislation,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke stated. “However, FSC is concerned that some of the provisions contained in SOPA may lay the groundwork to abolish legitimate online businesses by oppressive governments wishing to suppress unpopular content, overzealous competitors wishing to squelch competition, and extremist organizations wishing to promote censorship.”

Included in the letter to representatives is a FSC position statement on SOPA, which can be viewed here - FSC Position Statment – SOPA.

The adult entertainment industry has been especially hard hit by content piracy, but also has suffered from governmental regulations that have had a chilling effect on adult businesses. On behalf of its members, FSC applauds legislation that would protect intellectual property rights.

However, FSC has suggested issues created by any far-reaching regulations that may allow censorship; limit controversial forms of expression; or would encourage overly broad prosecution of online businesses, should be taken into consideration by representatives. FSC encourages close examination of any legislative regulations that may prove burdensome for legitimate online businesses or violate the rights of Internet users.

FSC’s Anti-Piracy Action Program (APAP) also was mentioned as a model for effective strategies that protect both content producers and tube site operators. Several large adult content producers, as well as tube site operators, are participating in APAP, which uses advanced technology to monitor infringing activity and creates new revenue streams for participants.

For more information on FSC-APAP, contact (818) 348-9373, or diane@freespeechcoalition.com.

(Photo: Some rights reserved by Hannes Trapp)

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