First Amendment scholar on the failures of SOPA

James sez, "First Amendment scholar Marvin Ammori gives a great overview of how Congress has made an effort to protect free speech in the past but are turning a blind eye to the threats to speech rights posed by the Stop Online Piracy Act."

Free speech has remained a quintessential American ideal, even as our society has moved from the ink quill to the touch screen. But as the Internet paves new avenues for speech, Congress seems to be remembering only some of the lessons of our tradition. While lawmakers continues to understand the potential threat from defamation laws, proposed legislation on copyrights shows that many in Congress are willing to overlook threats to free speech similar to those that overzealous defamation laws undoubtedly create.

Should Copyright Be Allowed to Override Speech Rights? (Thanks, James!)


  1. Corporations are made of people, lots and lots of poople. They’re super citizens. Of course their rights supersede those of the common citizens.

  2. I’ve been watching the arguments and voting live, and honestly it is sickening to watch. You have a tiny minority of voices who have a keen grasp of the failings of this bill up against a majority that is clearly clueless. It’s horrifying to see insightful and well backed arguments shot down with no sense of due consideration. Some of the arguments are as simple as “It won’t work, will break the internet, and all the experts overwhelmingly stand against it” but still they are met with a chorus of ignorance. I’ve heard no arguments in support of the bill that even attempt to undermine the arguments against. It is literally a case of “ignorant majority rules”. I simply can’t understand how this process isn’t being torn to pieces by mainstream news.  Any five minute section of what I’ve seen today and yesterday could be used as a clear and concise example of the massive and laughable failure that SOPA has been from day one, and the failure of the US political system to prevent it being perpetrated upon us all.

  3. How about SBPA? Stop Bathroom Privacy Act? Because who KNOWS what kind of illegal things people could be doing while alone in bathrooms!

  4. I really get the feeling that SOPA will pass if only for the purpose of removing wikileaks from the internet as best as they forcibly can.

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