Jan 16, 2012


The paper is titled "DONT BREAK THE INTERNET" by Mark Lemley, David S. Levine, & David G. Post
It describes the unintended consequences of SOPA
Indeed, this approach could actually have an effect directly contrary to what its proponents intend: if large swaths of websites are cut out of the Inter- net addressing system, those sites—and the users who want to reach them— may well gravitate towards alternative, unregulated domain name addressing systems, making it even harder for governments to exercise their legitimate regulatory role in Internet activities.
What it does
This not only violates basic principles of due process by depriving persons of property without a fair hearing and a reasonable opportunity to be heard, it also constitutes an unconstitutional abridgement of the freedom of speech pro- tected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that governmental action suppressing speech, if taken prior to an adver- sary proceeding and subsequent judicial determination that the speech in ques- tion is unlawful, is a presumptively unconstitutional “prior restraint.” In other words, it is the “most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights,” permissible only in the narrowest range of circumstances. The Constitution requires a court “to make a final determination” that the ma- terial in question is unlawful “after an adversary hearing before the material is completely removed from circulation. 
The final paragraphs
It would be not just ironic, but tragic, were the United States to join the ranks of these repressive and restrictive regimes, erecting our own “virtual walls” to prevent people from accessing portions of the world’s networks. Passage of these bills will compromise our ability to defend the principle of the single global Internet—the Internet that looks the same to, and allows free and unfettered communication between, users located in Boston, Bucharest, and Buenos Aires, free of locally imposed censorship regimes. As such, it may rep- resent the biggest threat to the Internet in its history.
Copyright and trademark infringement on the Internet is a very real problem, and reasonable proposals to augment the ample array of enforcement powers already at the disposal of IP rights holders and law enforcement officials may serve the public interest. But the power to break the Internet shouldn’t be among them. 
See the paper here. Wikipedia is ready to protest (via Islas Baleares, @profesandy. And Ana Miriam Coloma @ana_miriam).

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