The House Judiciary Committee is meeting today to hear arguments on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
As we wrote Monday, SOPA gives large copyright holders such as music labels and movie studios the power to take down Web sites by sending notices to Internet Service Providers and e-commerce payment processors.
Simply, the law gives copyright holder the power to determine what infringes and what doesn’t infringe without any oversite, judicial or otherwise.
You would think with such sweeping changes under consideration, the Judiciary Committee would want to hear multiple arguments and perspectives from different sides of the issue.
If only that were the case. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports, the deck is stacked in favor of SOPA proponents:
What could have been an opportunity for the committee to hear from a variety of stakeholders has devolved into parade of pro-SOPA partisans. Scheduled to testify are representatives from the Register of Copyrights, Pfizer Global Security, the Motion Picture Association of America, the AFL-CIO, and Mastercard Worldwide—many of which helped to draft this legislation in the first place, and didn’t let anyone else into the room. The only scheduled witness in opposition to the bill is Katherine Oyama, policy counsel on copyright and trademark law for Google.
Image: A screen overlay provided by AmericanCensorship.org that allows Web site operators to express their opposition to SOPA. Instructions for adding it to your site are here.