The OPEN Act Becomes Truly Open

    January 24, 2012

The OPEN Act, the less insane version of SOPA and PIPA, is up for public scrutiny and changes.

Representative Darrell Issa has created Keep the Web Open to allow citizens the opportunity of making revisions and suggestions to the bill as is. The Web site also features a rundown of SOPA and PIPA, and what sets OPEN apart from them.

For anybody familiar with Wikipedia and its community, it’s almost the same thing here. Users can submit direct suggestions that change the wording of the bill, while other users can submit questions and comments that seek to further clarify the wording in the bill or make indirect suggestions.

The OPEN Act, alongside SOPA and PIPA, seek to essentially write a Bill of Rights for the Web. In that spirit, the editing tool used on the OPEN Act’s Web site is named after James Madison, the author of the original Bill of Rights. The Web site for the OPEN Act displays a quote from Madison as a pretense for the public interaction with the bill: “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

As we’ve reported earlier, the OPEN Act is the brainchild of Representative Darrell Issa and Senator Ron Wyden. The bill seeks to give jurisdiction over foreign rogue Web sites to the International Trade Commission. SOPA and PIPA would have given this power to the Justice Department who could take down any Web site without due process.

Unlike SOPA and PIPA, OPEN has the support of the major players in the tech industry including Google, Facebook and Zynga. It also has the support of other organizations such as the Consumer Electronic Association and the American Library Association.

If you want to take part in helping write the bill that the tech industry actually supports, go here and start reading.