Remember SOPA? The Stop Online Piracy Act, introduced to the U.S. Congress as a means of cracking down on internet piracy and copyright infringement, caused quite a stir earlier this year when Internet firms from Wikipedia to Google mounted co-ordinated protests against it.
Representatives of the film and music industries, on the other hand, were among the most outspoken supporters of SOPA. They argued that file-sharing amounts to intellectual property theft, threatening jobs and an important component of the North American economy.
But what level of economic threat does copyright infringement actually pose?
At a recent TED conference, comic author Rob Reid took a look at data and found that Copyright Math makes some surprising claims:
While SOPA is no longer in the offing, the debate over copyright protection is still ongoing. In Canada, a federal bill that would update the country's copyright laws has attracted less attention. Bill C-11 has passed second reading and a committee review, and will soon be subject to vote in the House of Commons. (A third reading and a Senate review are still pending.)
While not as drastic as SOPA, C-11 also has its share of critics, who object to its potential to undermine consumer rights. Lobbyists for the music and film industries, however, are looking for a more heavy-handed approach to copyright protection.
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