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PIPA/SOPA

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.026  Tuesday, 24 January 2012

 

[1] From:         John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         January 23, 2012 12:01:32 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: PIPA/SOPA 

 

[2] From:         Gabriel Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         January 24, 2012 8:08:30 AM EST

     Subject:     Re: PIPA/SOPA 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:         John Briggs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         January 23, 2012 12:01:32 PM EST

Subject:     Re: PIPA/SOPA

 

Larry Weiss writes:

 

"Hardy asks what effect PIPA/SOPA would have on academic discussion sites like SHAKSPER.  It is hard to see that the proposed legislation would have any effect on them."

 

Perhaps Larry Weiss should consider two associated developments:

 

1. The Research Works Act–which is being shamelessly promoted by two members of Congress who have received contributions from Reed Elsevier! This would prevent government agencies from establishing and mandating Open Access archives. (see http://blogs.princeton.edu/librarian/2012/01/the-final-provocation/ )

 

2. Oxford University Press is apparently adopting a policy that contributions to multi-authored works are signed over to them as “work for hire”. This assigns all rights to OUP (it means the authors aren’t the authors and wouldn’t be allowed to host a copy in their own archive.)  (see http://www.shaviro.com/Blog/?p=1030 )

 

Publishers clearly wish to prevent Open Access archives and make them illegal. Any link to such an archive would fall foul of PIPA/SOPA. 

 

John Briggs

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Gabriel Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         January 24, 2012 8:08:30 AM EST

Subject:     Re: PIPA/SOPA

 

Larry Weiss is sanguine about the proposed PIPA/SOPA legislation:

 

> It is not necessary, or even desirable, for

> SHAKSPER to offer access to rogue websites

> in order to carry out its mission, and I suspect

> that if anyone attempted to use the site for

> that purpose, Hardy would quickly put an end

> to it (with or without a demand). As for

> inadvertent linking to copyrighted material,

> that probably occurs now, and, so far as I know,

> no one has asserted a claim for infringement or

> contributory infringement. Given the limited

> distribution on this site and its educational

> purpose, and (in most cases at least) the minor

> amount of copyrighted material that might be

> included in a post, the Fair Use doctrine (17

> U.S.C. § 107) could be asserted as a defense.

 

This makes it sound as if one could appeal against a shutdown order made under PIPA/SOPA and one could mount a defence. In fact, the legislation enables those who assert that their Intellectual Property rights are being violated to have websites shut down without due process.

 

SHAKSPER is vulnerable in this regard. I’ve just searched the SHAKSPER website and found in old digests dozens of links to the website <www.gabrielegan.com>. There is material on <www.gabrielegan.com> that rights holders could object to, and this is clearly not inadvertent: the site owner is on record advocating behaviour that PIPA/SOPA defines as piracy.

 

As a site that provides links to the rogue site <www.gabrielegan.com>, <www.shaksper.net> is in danger of being closed down if PIPA/SOPA is passed in anything like its current form.  What counts as piracy and what counts as a rogue site are too broadly defined and the powers given to alleged rights holders too great.

 

Gabriel Egan

 
 

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