A bill under consideration in the US House of Representatives could, if passed, have far-reaching effects on the use of copyrighted material on the web, and on artists rights to comment, alter and remix it, reports Martha Lufkin in The Art Newspaper. The Stop Online Piracy Act, introduced by Republican representative Lamar Smith, would empower the federal government to shut down websites deemed dedicated to infringement, requiring service providers who host such sites to voluntarily deny them service or face liability for infringement themselves. Another section of the broad-spectrum bill criminalizes online copyright infringement worth more than $1000. Predictably, corporations and organizations like The Artist rights Society, with high-dollar rights to protect are for it, civil libertarians, web companies, against.
also by Bill Davenport
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