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Will Congress kill YouTube and Twitter?

A post over at Daily Kos alerted us to the Internet Blacklist Bill, which the House introduced today. The bill could hold sites like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook responsible for user-generated content uploaded to their servers. Post author and Rhode Island state congressman David Segal warns that if the the bill passes as-is, it would:

1) Give the government and private corporations new powers to block access to sites accused of copyright infringement;

2) Criminalize the streaming of copyrighted content;

3) Restrict cloud-based storage services, music lockers, and the like;

4) Create the aforementioned new liabilities for sites that encourage the posting of user-generated content.

“Nobody will want to take that risk,” says Segal, “So these sites and others could be forced to shut down if it manages to pass as it stands.

Some members of the KOS community question the urgency of the bill:

This has the potential to completely kill one of their top revenue sources in YouTube.

I’d think that if [Google] thought this stood a chance, “condemn” would be the least they’d do with their billions of dollars post-Citizens-United.

zenox calls it an intimidation tactic:

It won’t work. They do not realize that this is a whole new world. Their old and moldy methods of intimidation will no longer work. Not permanently.

They can never control what is beyond their wildest imaginations. Today’s technology and the minds of the new generation is something they have no idea about.

They will only further legitimize their irrelevancy. That’s all.

TooFolkGR argues that the bill wouldn’t affect YouTube:

Certainly not anything to do with their profit, which comes exclusively from videos that DON’T contain copyright violations.

I don’t really understand provision #4 listed either. Does the bill actually say: “Any site that encourages users to generate content will be subject to ____”… that’s kind of oddly worded.

Bill seems totally unnecessary, even if this reaction sounds a bit ginned up too.

The proposed bill is scheduled for a November 16 hearing, where it will likely pass and move on to the floor for a vote.

You can judge the ramifications of Internet Blacklist Bill for yourself and send a letter to your congressman over at Demand Progress.

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