Friday, 20 January 2012

America: the Biggest Cyber-Criminal of Them All.

Just what is going on in the world?

Just as Americas SOPA and PIPA laws are being heralded as anti-competitive, anti-trade and downright nasty, we have a rash of US-instigated piracy-related arrests in the UK and New Zealand.

I blogged before about Richard O'Dwyer, but now we have the Megaupload arrests in New Zealand, with word that they to will lead to some for of extradition request.

Now don't get me wrong, copyright theft should be illegal, but I'm pretty sure that in the UK and New Zealand there are perfectly adequate laws to prosecute those arrested, without the need for extradition. So again the question is why is extradition being sought? Are the accused being deliberately brought to a country where they will find it difficult to defend themselves? Is that justice, or is it just a desire on the prosecutors to ensure a successful prosecution at any cost?

Its quite clear now that US lawyers assume that US law applies around the world, across the boundaries of sovereign states and to be honest it looks like those that don't apply US law above their own legislature are considered enemies of the US.

The fullest indication of this is the SOPA law, which will make US law apply across the internet, no matter where the servers you host your site are located. The burden of proof is lowered by SOPA, so just an allegation can result in the closure of a site.

SOPA is bully-boy tactics laid bare, with the only arbiter in any dispute being the US courts; a step too far for many businesses.

An example I'll supply is directly relevant to me as I work for an internet-based company. Say we take a picture of a part that we have made in China, that we designed and have rights over, but the Chinese company also supply to a US company without our knowledge. If the US company say they have the copyright over that item, or any images of it, then our site can be ordered to remove that image and/or part from our  site, or they can request the removal of our site from the Internet. We would have to contest the action in US courts and prove our rights to supply the item or even have images on it on the internet.

Given the huge cost of contesting the action in the US, it would be a feint hope to successfully prove our right to sell worldwide, or even to just sell in the UK. I would imagine that there would be plenty of malicious lawsuits that end up with US companies grabbing exclusive US rights to internet content even when they really have none, as "foreign" companies negotiate a way to continue to stay trading and earn a living,.

Its almost like state sanctioned highway robbery and hopefully through all the recent publicity will be dropped or at the very least, restricted in scope. In my blog about global conflict, I also wonder whether SOPA would be considered as a first shot in a global trade war, or the first spark that ignites a bigger and more real-world conflict. I really wonder if proponents of SOPA and PIPA understand the true implications of their proposals?

One thing is absolutely clear in all of this: the law has been appropriated by those who envision a unified global order. Our sovereign Parliament, our centuries-old system of justice count for nothing when they are steamrollered by the EU commission and US law.

Our country is not our own, and it makes me so sad that the traitorous faces that have sat in power over the past four decades have systematically robbed us of our sovereign rights and heritage.

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