SOPA & PIPA, they sound almost like characters in a children’s cartoon story. I just wish there was some childish humor to be found in these bills, they are really serious horror stories.
On the surface both these bills sound great. In simple terms they are about stopping piracy, and after all who could be against stopping piracy but the pirates? Well, me for one! I have created, programs, documents, articles, guides Apps that in many cases have been ripped-off in mere hours by internet pirates. Does that make me happy? Of course not, but the methods of enforcement and the lack of safe guards in both SOPA and PIPA worry me even more than the fear of losing my own intellectual property (IP) and some money.
It’s not that I want to make it easy to steal my stuff, but I also don’t want to make it easy for someone that has an ax to grind to have my site or content taken down without ANY due process.
But I’m not alone on this issue, yesterday Google, Wikipedia, Wired, reddit, Mozilla, Move on, Craigslist, WordPress.org, Minecraft, Tumblr, and boingboing, and thousands of other sites blacked out there pages or made their landing page into a SOPA and PIPA protest message. Facebook alone was filled with protest. I can’t remember a time so many people were unified in opposition of a single issue. And it’s not just, me and you and these internet companies that are opposed to SOPA and PIPA,but there are also a number of representatives trying to speak in opposition. For example Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat, blacked out her own website to protest the bills. Yo can find the whole store in the MacWorld Article – SOPA and PIPA: Web protests seem to be a turning point.
These bills if pass they will have many unintended consequences. Hosting providers have no liability if they take down a site with alleged offending material, but they have full liability if they do not. So many sites will be taken down with only a mere allegation, no notice, no review just, taken down.
And talk about unintended consequences, even the sponsor of the SOPA bill, Congressman Lamar Smith own’s website would be shut down under SOPA, so would Whitehouse.gov for copyright violations. Check the links above.
SOPA and PIPA are far reaching “guilty until proven innocent” bills that need to be stopped. And don’t let up, because if we stop them now, they will be back.
Here are some awesome additional resources regarding this issue. After your review I think you will find both of these bills are very bad ideas.
I HIGHLY recommend watching the TED talk by Clay Shirky, “Why SOPA is a bad idea”
USAToday Article – Questions and answers on anti-piracy bills
Please share this information and contact your representatives to let them know your feelings.