Ed — I am not sure what difference it makes who “owns” the internet. The government, federal or local does not own my house but if I set up a fencing operation to recieve and distribute stolen goods, they will most likely raid it anyway. I have stated that SOPA goes to far and needs to be amended, so no I really do not want us to look like China or Cuba, the analogy is stretched to say the least. Yes, the online community has a great deal of ability to organize, so did the mongol hoards. Doesn’t provide a moral, ethical or legal argument for either.
Society has determined for very good reasons that writers and content producers have property rights in the product of their labor in the same way a craftsman has property rights to the products they produce. If someone breaks into a store and steals the inventory, The store owner has a right to expect law enforcement to aide in the recovery of the stolen property. If it is found in a pawn shop, questions are asked about how it got there. The govermnet does not shut down the pawn shop without due process which demonstrates proof of culpability and knowledge on the part of the pawn broker the goods were stolen. SOPA appears to lack these due process protections and gives the Justice Department way too much authority to impose punishments with out going before a judge and jury. This needs to be amended.
Nevertheless, pawn brokers who make a habit of turning a blind eye when sellers come in with little or no proof of ownership, do not stay in business for long. I kind of expect a corporation with pockets as deep as Google’s to adhere to the same level of business responsibility as a pawn broker. Is that too much to ask?