Apple’s recent patent for an invisible infrared sensor that would block piracy at concerts and movies has net neutrality enthusiasts rattled, but some patent bloggers enthused about the possibilities.

The coalition, a group of some two million people devoted to a free and open Internet, want to send Steve Jobs an online petition, “Dear Apple, Don’t Shut Down My Phone Camera,” to ask that he reconsider the patent. The patent, which would enable a device’s camera to shut down during a movie or concert, applies to iPhones, the iPod Touch and iPad 2.

As we’ve seen in Egypt and elsewhere, the images and videos we take with our phones can be powerful forms of free speech. That’s why governments and businesses that feel threatened by the democratizing nature of mobile devices are doing what they can to control how we use them… If this tool fell into the hands of repressive regimes or malicious corporations, it would give tyrants and companies the power to silence one of the most critical forms of free expression.

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