Hey Hollywood, forget SOPA, ACTA & TPP. Embrace Netflix instead

Here’s a novel idea for Hollywood: Instead of forcing other countries to adopt ever tougher copyright laws, help services like Netflix and Hulu to launch operations overseas. And forcing U.S. consumers to authenticate before they can watch TV online might not be the smartest idea either.

Criminalizing links: Why the Richard O’Dwyer case matters

The U.S. government continues to try and extradite British college student Richard O’Dwyer for simply linking to copyright-infringing files, on a site located in the UK. If they are successful, it could change the way we think about some of the fundamental underpinnings of the web.

Is the UN the next big threat to Internet freedom?

An arm of the United Nations says that because the Internet is a global entity, it should be controlled and managed by the UN. But critics say turning over control to the agency could put the openness and freedom of the Internet in jeopardy.

Google launches the “power of the internet” campaign

Google announced a new project – Take Action – that asks you to tell your story about the Internet and share it with the social web. Its motive: build grassroots momentum and keep check on widely reviled legislations such as SOPA, PIPA and their new variants.

Today in Connected Consumer

In the wake of the epic battle over SOPA and PIPA, companies in Silicon Valley have been ramping up their political and lobbying efforts in Washington. Last month, Google hired former Republican Rep. Susan Molinari to run its DC shop and to give the Democrat-affiliated technology company more traction within the GOP. Now comes word that Netflix is getting in the game. The company has filed paperwork to form a political action committee (PAC) to be called Flixpac, which will allow Netflix to contribute money directly to political campaigns. The company has hired lobbyists in Washington in the past to work on specific issues or bills, but this is the first time it has sought to get involved directly in campaigns. Facebook formed a PAC late last year. The growing traffic between Silicon Valley and Washington isn’t just going one way, however. Having put itself on the political map in the SOPA fight, the technology industry — and its cash — now finds itself being wooed aggressively by both political parties. Republicans in particular see an opportunity to capitalize on the Valley’s estrangement from Democratic-affiliated Hollywood and anti-regulatory instincts to win friends in what has been thought of as a Democratic stronghold. Moral of the story: Be careful what you wish for.

Lamar Smith: SOPA protesters were “misinformed.”

SOPA sponsor and defender Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) just can’t let the ideas that led him to sponsor the Stop Online Piracy Act die. In an interview in a community paper he pledged to deal with online piracy, and called SOPA supporters misinformed.

Why it’s wrong to call copyright infringement “theft”

We’ve gotten used to the content industries arguing that what happens when people download or make copies is “theft.” But using that term muddies the waters when it comes to what copyright is supposed to be about, and lends support to irrational laws and court decisions.

It’s not about piracy, it’s about a failure to adapt

Y Combinator founder Paul Graham is right when he says that the continued push for legislation like SOPA and PIPA is a result of a failure to adapt to the changing environment the internet has created when it comes to intellectual property and the content industries.

Could crowdsourcing be a better way to make legislation?

In an attempt to come up with better laws on copyright, Reddit is crowdsourcing the creation of a Free Internet Act, while Public Knowledge is trying to introduce its own alternatives. But will crowdsourcing work, or will it just add to the chaos and confusion?