Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SOPA and PIPA reaction in Asia

The debate about the US SOPA and PIPA legislation caused many reactions in the South East Asia media over its impact.

SOPA and PIPA are Congessional and Senate bills targeting especially entertainment content piracy such as P2P systems focussed on pirated music like Piratebay.  The bills empower IP holders to attack the most difficult to reach pirate websites based on a "good faith belief" of infringement and then seek to take them down, block them from receiving payments, or remove them from search engine results. Of particular concern are "notorious foreign infringers".

The world reacted against them through some 7000 Wikipedia and other website blackouts claiming it violates free speech and web freedom.

Concerns expressed in the South East Asia media are that Asian websites may be in the sights of the US legislation. A common theme was the uboquitous and therefore innoucous nature of piracy in South East Asia. One particularly Filipino concern is that the 'copycat tendency in Philippine legislation' might lead its Congress to replicate the legislation.  

IP Komodo feels the impasse in the content providers v ISPs war is not helping anyone. Content providers must provide better business models to supply content in the easier ways that people now want content (but obviously not for free). And service providers must accept some level of responsibility for helping police their networks.  IP Komodo really does wonder if SOPA and PIPA would lead to curbing of freedom of speech? Surely attacking Piratebay and the like is not really going to harm the internet. A trial of the legislation with clear checks and balances against IP holder overreaching would be an obvious way to see if it works or not.

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