What is SOPA? “Stop Online Piracy Act” and it is headed through U.S. Congress with its sister bill PROTECT-IP in the Senate. SOPA threatens to fundamentally change the way information is presented online by placing massive restrictions on user-generated content like posts to forums, video uploads, podcasts or images.
Basically what this bill will do is…
- Assign liability to site owners for everything users post, without consideration for whether or not the user posted without permission. Site owners could face jail time or heavy fines, and DNS blacklisting.
- It would require web services like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to monitor and aggressively filter everything all users upload.
- It would deny site owners due process of law, by initiating a DNS blacklisting based solely on a good faith assertion by an individual copyright or intellectual property owner.
- It would give the U.S. government the power to selectively censor the web using techniques similar to those used in China, Malaysia and Iran. The Great Firewall of China is an example of this type of embedded, infrastructural internet censorship.
There are many articles circulating the internet this week but one that best sums it up is Tomshardware.com. I recommend that everyone take a look.
Here is an example of what could happen. Let’s say that you upload a video or your child to Facebook while in the background you’re playing music. By posting that video to Facebook they now become liable for the music that you may or may not have permission to use. The end result could be jail-time and or the complete blacklisting of Facebook in the US.
That is just one scenario but there are thousands of blogs out there that will now be subject to this for all intents and purposes taking away our freedoms.
Please take a moment to contact your representative and tell them you oppose the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. Here’s a link that can give you more information and provide you with contact info for your elected official. Your action on this matters.