FROM Markham Erickson
Internet Piracy: Will SOPA Change the Web as We Know It? There's a major battle on Capitol Hill involving big money with Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the issue. It's all about Internet sites that profit from stolen movies and music. Movie studios and music producers say copyright theft is costing them $58 billion a year. They're backing laws proposed in the House and the Senate to give the Justice Department the power to shut down websites that profit from stolen material. The Internet industry says it's concerned about piracy too, but it claims the proposed laws are a real threat to freedom and openness on line. Can that material be protected without destroying the freedom that makes the Internet so important to so many users? Photo: Netflix is one of several companies that's threatened by Internet piracy. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Internet Piracy: It's Hollywood versus Silicon Valley America's so-called "creative" industries are battling it out on Capitol Hill with a lot at stake for consumers who depend on the Internet. The movie and music industries, some labor unions and the Chamber of Commerce want to crackdown on Internet piracy, which is costing some $58 billion a year. They're backing laws proposed in the House and the Senate to give the Justice Department the power to shut down Internet sites that profit from stolen material. While the Internet industry says it's concerned about piracy too, web giants like Google and Yahoo — joined by consumer groups — claim the proposed laws are a real threat to freedom and openness on line. Would Washington have the power to police the web, like China? Are there other ways of protecting the rights and income of producers and artists?
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