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View Diary: SOPA's Assault on Libraries, Students, and the Global Flow of Knowledge (26 comments)

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  •  I thought this pertained to ISP. Someone explain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    how libraries are other effected other than the sites themselves being blocked to then and everyone.  

    Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 06:27:47 PM PST

    •  A great question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The run-down from the librarian in the piece was pretty good, however, it could be much more in depth.

      Basically, educators and librarians regularly create sites and databases solely for educational purposes, which is considered fair use. In these sites, we might link to all manner of things: articles, websites, encyclopedia entries, photographs, videos, advertisements. All kinds of stuff which is used to teach students.

      SOPA would easily stop that type of use. Frankly, it could outright censor the material educators and libraries can provide to students. This is especially worrisome in Higher Ed where course design is at the discretion of individual instructors. It could also, of course, be a problem in the lower schools.

      Here are some more quotes that hopefully explain this issue:

      From the EFF, who are the most knowledgeable group, IMHO, about online laws --


      Big media groups like the MPAA and the RIAA have historically targeted college campuses with “anti-piracy” measures, and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) — the blacklist bill they’re trying to push through Congress — is no exception. The bill’s supporters insist that it targets only “rogue” foreign sites dedicated to piracy, but its vague language and overbroad enforcement methods all but ensure it could be used to stifle student and educator speech.

      Open educational resources

      Some sites with reason to be particularly concerned are international communities dedicated to “open educational resources” (OERs), which are created to be shared, built upon, and used in education. Sites like the Japan Opencourseware Consortium or Universia, which offer resources from more than 1,000 universities and represents over 10 million students, could fall into this category. In the past decade, these resources have become increasingly popular across the world, aided by the dropping cost of digital distribution and the availability of technologies and platforms for hosting and sharing. SOPA could reverse those changes by placing prohibitive liability burdens on sites that offer these resources and the platforms that enable them.


      They’re not alone. Libraries represent another educational group that could face fallout from SOPA. The Library Copyright Alliance, a group whose members include the American Library Association and two other major library organizations, has also written a letter to the House of Representatives raising major issues with the bill.

      Alarmingly, the librarians point to “three pending copyright infringement lawsuits against universities and their libraries relating to their use of digital technology,” reflecting “a growing tension between rights holders and libraries, and some rights holders’ increasingly belligerent enforcement mentality.” That same enforcement mentality, under SOPA, could lead to criminal prosecutions of libraries, even for activities that are a fair use and conducted without the intention of commercial gain.

      The EFF wrote this letter about how SOPA could "chill" educational access by limiting content (pdf warning):


      The ALA (American Library Associaton) is currently participating in a partial blackout as well:

      Here is a copy of the letter (which is quite dry and a bit arcane) which they wrote to Congress (pdf warning):

      The United States Student Association has also stated opposition to SOPA/PIPA.

      Numerous other library groups and educational groups have as well.

      The media has largely focused on the Corporate aspect of this, however, these is a neglected angle for why this should be absolutely opposed by pro-education legislators, particularly Democrats. It can, as my diary attempts to explain, potentially limit access to educational material for Universities facing hard economic times, which only disbenefits the quality of student educational access/resources.

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