The Internet is Under Attack in Congress
Bold Progressives - Progressive Change Campaign Committee
December 15, 2011
The Internet is under attack in Congress because some big
corporations would rather stifle innovation online than
compete against it.
That's why the founders of Google, YouTube, Craigslist, and
Wikipedia wrote that a bill being considered tomorrow by a
powerful House committee "would have a chilling effect on
innovation" and "give the U.S. Government the power to
censor the web using techniques similar to those used by
This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. Click here to sign our
emergency joint petition with social-news site reddit --
telling Congress to protect the Internet. Then pass it on!
Overnight, thousands have signed.
Some background: YouTube started in a garage. If a big
company like Viacom thought a video violated copyright law,
Viacom couldn't break YouTube's links or force the kids who
invented YouTube to spend millions in court.
Instead, under the law, Viacom would have to contact YouTube
and allow YouTube to decide if the complaint had merit.
YouTube had a "safe harbor" of time to voluntarily take down
an infringing video without penalty.
Because of this due process, early investors in YouTube knew
that big corporations couldn't shut down YouTube or litigate
YouTube to death. This allowed innovation to thrive.
But if the "Stop Online Piracy Act" passes Congress, all of
this would change. Innovative sites could be taken down by
others (including the government at the behest of big
corporations) without due process -- like in China.
Please sign our emergency petition telling Congress to
protect Internet innovation and free speech. Then pass it
We'll deliver this petition to Congress and inform you when
your representative is about to take a key vote.
Thanks for helping to save the Internet.
-- Adam Green, Stephanie Taylor, Jason Rosenbaum, Karen
Oelschlaeger, Ethan Jucovy, and the PCCC team
BACKGROUND: An Open Letter from Top Innovators
We've all had the good fortune to found Internet companies
and nonprofits in a regulatory climate that promotes
entrepreneurship, innovation, the creation of content and
free expression online.
However we're worried that the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop
Online Piracy Act - which started out as well-meaning
efforts to control piracy online - will undermine that
These two pieces of legislation threaten to:
* Require web services, like the ones we helped
found, to monitor what users link to, or upload.
This would have a chilling effect on innovation;
* Deny website owners the right to due process of
* Give the U.S. Government the power to censor the
web using techniques similar to those used by China,
Malaysia and Iran; and
* Undermine security online by changing the basic
structure of the Internet.
We urge Congress to think hard before changing the
regulation that underpins the Internet. Let's not deny the
next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same
opportunities that we all had.
Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and Andreessen
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square
Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch
David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo!
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post
Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube
Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and co-
founder of Alexa Internet
Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal
Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist
Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay
Biz Stone, co-founder of Obvious and Twitter
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia
Evan Williams, co-founder of Blogger and Twitter
Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!
Join the fight -- sign the petition
To help protect Internet innovation please visit:
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