11/14/2011

Education groups rallying against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

A grassroots effort has been sparked in the OER and educational technology community to express concern about the implications of the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP act for OER and online educational services. You can see the draft letter here.

More information on the bill below, but if you already agree, the process to sign on is simple:
  • Visit this form and simply add your name, email, organization, and (if you want) approximately how many learners you or your organization reach.
  • Reply to this email with the above information and we will add you to our list.
Why does SOPA matter to online education?

There is now a whole class of sites that encourage lawful distribution, remixing and redistribution of educational content (e.g. Curriki, Connexions, P2PU, YouTube, CK12). Should someone accidentally or purposefully upload copyrighted material, that service would generally be protected from liability by the DMCA. A content owner would issue a DMCA takedown to start that process for removal.

If these bills are enacted, sites that host or use user-generated content could be required to monitor their site for infringing material, and could potentially have their domain name disabled by the government if content owners thought that infringement was occurring on that site. This represents an entirely new legal power given to content owners to control the flow of content online and to shape the very foundation of the Internet.

This battle is not just about a material threat to existing sites, but fighting for future innovations and future services that have yet to be created.  Here are some groups that have already expressed concern:
Again, please join us in becoming a signatory to this Concerned Educator letter to Congress. The process is simple. You can either:
  • Visit this form and simply add your name, email, organization, and (if you want) approximately how many learners you or your organization reach.
Thank you! We need your voice in this fight.

1 comment:

herculeanlift said...

As a developer of online educational resources, I am concerned about the very real possibility that there is now technology that enables pirates to break into password protected sites and /or slip in via backdoors. My own work has been translated into Chinese and Arabic without permission.

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