Pirate Party Holds Rally to tell Senators Brown and Kerry: Don’t Censor the Net!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: James O’Keefe, 617-447-0210

PIRATE PARTY HOLDS RALLY TO TELL SENATORS BROWN AND KERRY: DON’T CENSOR THE NET!

Boston, MA, December 6th, 2011 – At noon today, supporters of Internet freedom will tell Senators Brown and Kerry to stand up for keeping the Internet a free speech zone. The rally will be in front of the JFK Federal Building next to Boston City Hall Plaza.

The PROTECT Intellectual Property Act (PIPA or “PROTECT IP,” S.968) and its companion bill, the Commercial Felony Streaming Act (CFSA, S.978) would fundamentally challenge our cherished right of free speech and allow not only the Federal Government, but even individuals to censor the Internet.

“PIPA would permit the government to censor a website by cutting off funding to the site, requiring search engines to de-list the site, and requiring advertisers to withdraw their ads from the site and block that site’s ads. It would also require that Domain Name System (DNS) operators stop directing Internet users to the accused website. The US is emulating the Great Firewall of China and will harm the free speech rights of all Americans”, said James O’Keefe, Captain of the Massachusetts Pirate Party.

Said lawyer and Pirate Party member Chris Walsh: “Under CFSA simply clicking a ‘share’ button or uploading a video of yourself singing a copyrighted song could lead to a sentence comparable with armed robbery, involuntary manslaughter, or assault and battery with a deadly weapon. CFSA would criminalize nearly everyone under the age of thirty.”

These bills would place a huge burden on search engines, payment processors, and advertisers. Not only is an entire website put at risk for containing infringing content, but new burdens and liabilities are imposed on entities that have nothing to do with the infringement, and may not even have a business relationship with the website. The most popular and successful websites are those that permit people to speak and share with one another, and every website that permits users to upload content enables infringement.

The bill would attempt to force innovative websites to police their users. This is a task that would simply be impossible for small innovators, and the high risk of liability would strongly deter investment in such businesses and curtail the strong job growth enjoyed in this industry.

Said First Officer, J. P. Hollembaek: “These laws are challenging free speech, one of our most cherished ideals and a tool to keep our government accountable to the people. These bills would be used to go after future Wikileaks all in the name of propping up the failed business models of Hollywood and the entertainment industry. The Internet provides an opportunity for creators to better connect with fans without the need for the entertainment giants. Our culture is being democratized and we embrace that change.”

The Massachusetts Pirate Party has setup https://masspirates.org/blog/dontcensorthenet/ as its portal for fighting these bills. The information packet on these bills, which we will provide to Senators Brown and Kerry, is available at this web page.

The Massachusetts Pirate Party can be contacted at:

Phone: (617) 863-6277 (MAPP)
Email: info@masspirates.org
Web: https://masspirates.org

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