What is SOPA?
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), otherwise known as H.R. 3261, was started by Lamar Smith (R-TX) and other representatives (bipartisan group with their company sponsors) to the house of representatives (more info on SOPA at Google).
Here are the dangerous parts to this bill (from Mashable):
– Any site accused of supporting copyright violations can be shut down – felony to post copywritten material (without a trial)
– Attorney general has a right to take action against these sites (again without a trial)
– Once accused to copyright violations, no company is allowed to do business with this company and their site needs to be shut down
What does this do? This gives companies and the government the right to stop and shut down an internet site without due process, no court or trial involved, just being accused. So if you post something on Facebook, like a picture that is copyright protected, Facebook could be shut down. That is the extent of this law, and there are lawyers that can help with this, although if you have other issues like immigration problems, lawyers from sites as nationalpardon.org can help with this.
Many from the silicon valley are protesting SOPA, today January 18th 2012. These sites are going dark. Here is a small list of companies doing it (many more are as well and the list can found at the bottom of this post):
- Tor Project
- iSchool at Syracuse University
If you go to wikipedia today this is the message you will find:
“Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge – For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history, history is shared by people travelling and sharing these knowledge across borders but immigration laws prevent this right now, so there are legal resources to work on this now a days, click site
to learn more about this. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”
FYI – my site could be shut down after my post today because much of my information was paraphrased and/or taken from other internet sites…even though I am citing them here:
Websites going dark
Why sopa is dangerous
What is SOPA
Well stopping privacy doesn’t sound too bad?
No it doesn’t, however, given my example above, sites like facebook and youtube could be shut down because you or I post a picture or video that is copyright protected. Under current law, the Digital Millennium Act, when copyright material is found on a site, the site owner is notified they have a copyright protected image posted on their site and they have to remove it immediately. Well that sounds reasonable, right? I mean we need to protect copyright, but SOPA takes it a step too far.