We already have the terrible Digital Millenium Copyright Act which to a large extent allows copyright owners to demand that sites remove data which is unacceptable to a copyright holder. An interesting article apeared today tells us about how Google is attempting to be transparent about this issue and has stats about who is doing the most requesting--at least to Google. Turns out it's Microsoft, a software company.
I've talked before about the issue of copyrights and software, and frankly I find it fairly interesting that this should be the case. One interesting quote from Google--
"These days it’s not unusual for us to receive more than 250,000 requests each week, which is more than what copyright owners asked us to remove in all of 2009"
So the self-serving censorship is accelerating. I don't think that this is good.
But one thing I think it plain--we don't need more laws allowing copyright holders to censor the internet. We're already censoring it plenty right now.
I did rather enjoy the observation of one slashdot poster--this link which shows all the domains that Google has been asked to censor via the DMCA. So if you're wondering where you can go to get pirated media and software--there's a nice directory for you.
The internet is a wonderful thing, and it's obvious it can withstand these assaults. But what will we lose in the meantime, while we allow it to continue?