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Politicians are quick to change their mind... Once they know you're watching.

It's this week's Uncut commentary.

We all know internet piracy is rampant. Thieves copy and distribute movies before they even leave the studios. Musicians lose millions every day. And all to pirates who use computers and servers to snatch ideas and concepts.

It is stealing plain and simple. The question is, how do you stop it?

At the beginning of the week, the talk was that congress had the perfect plan. Record companies and Hollywood loved it.

The trouble is the bills they came up with - one called S.O.P.A. and the other P.I.P.A.

To my mind, they might have gone too far and chilled expression on the web.

Search engines, like Google, worried they'd ultimately have limits placed on web sites to which they could link you.

That's a problem.

One thing we've learned from the Arab spring: allowing maximum internet communication for political reasons is a key weapon in bringing down autocratic rule.

There's a reason North Korea's Kim Jong Un and Fidel Castro hate having the internet in their countries. They know that among all the pirates, there are people using it to get the real truth out about them and their countries. These bills had the potential of hurting those expressing those truths.

Wikipedia, Google and others openly expressed their displeasure with the congress' plans because it was very likely to have affected their businesses and freedom of expression... and it worked. Now the bills are stalled.

For me, it's all about keeping open the means of expression.

Internet piracy is serious and growing. Now is the time to put our heads together to find a better way to do that.

Those are my thoughts, tell me yours at jmccaa@wfaa.com

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