I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: technology innovators are often light years ahead of lawmakers – and members of the CHAOS Communication Conference think they have a way to thwart H.R. 3261, aka, SOPA. Their plan? Set up an alternative Internet, free from undue government censorship.
Why A Government-Free Satellite Internet?
Say what? Okay, let’s bring you up to speed. Since the Internet’s inception, we’ve all gotten used to being able to freely post our thoughts and feelings about myriad subjects. Sometimes, these expressions can take an artistic form, which often translates into some reproduction of art, music or favorite movie clip.
The music- and movie-industry backed legislation — introduced as House Bill 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act — is supposedly designed “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” But, when you apply the pending law to common Internet activity, it means the “Pulp Fiction” clip on your Facebook wall could result in your account being closed.
“No Worries,” Says CHAOS, “We’ll Just Make Our Own SOPA-Free Internet!”
But if you think “hacktivists” are going to take SOPA sitting down, think again.
CHAOS collective is talking over plans to create their own Webspace by launching a fleet of low level satellites. However, there are some technical issues with this solution. First, the satellites would not be geostationary. This means access would be sporadic, and users could end up waiting 90 minutes for their access point to orbit. Second, satellite-Internet users would need a $130 base receiver to access this new network – a financial limitation for many. Finally, to get this plan off the ground, they, well, they have to get these satellites off the ground — which is no small feat. The current plan is to build a private space program with launch capabilities.
Good luck guys and gals!
While we may not see a satellite, gov-free Internet for quite some time, what’s going on in Washington should be of paramount importance to any web entrepreneur. There is a blurring line between free speech and what constitutes the theft of intellectual property. First Amendment rights have expanded to protect “seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used”. As you start your web-based business, be sure you know just where your intellectual property begins, and ends, by working with an online intellectual property attorney.