Since I first came across a video on ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com explaining the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA) I’ve been following the bill’s news for a while. If you’re not familiar with SOPA, basically it’s a bill allowing copyright holders to take down any site with copyrighted material. This include just linking to sites with copyright material. This means that sites like Youtube, Google, Facebook & Twitter could be taken down because of the content users post. Ostensibly, it’s designed to stop online piracy of songs, movies, etc. However, the wording of the bill is so vague that it was basically allow media outlets (& even the government) to censor the internet.
Now, I don’t proclaim to be an expert on the subject. But there are plenty of videos & sites that can explain why this bill is so dangerous (use it while you can). This bill is supported by companies such as Disney, Motion Pictures Association of America, Viacom & even Nike (since when did clothing have anything to do with the internet?). As you’d expect, opponents include AOL, Google, Yahoo! & the American Civil Liberties Union. You know it’s bad when the bloody ACLU gets involved. And call me biased if you want, but I rather take the word of experts (used in this case to refer to people who actually work on the internet & understand how programming) than a company who uses child labor to make overpriced shoes or a bunch of 90-year-old rich men who probably couldn’t use Google search if their lives depended on it.
Further debate on the bill has been postponed until 2012 when Congress reconvenes after their Winter Break. I’d like to think it had something to do with the massive blowback & the numerous petitions sent to VETO the bill. This buys us a little time.
But the real reason I’m actually making a post about the issue is because of a video that was posted today showing documentation of the SOPA hypocrisy. Specifically, how the same companies who have been lobbying for this bill are the same people who created, published & distributed most of the software that they’re claiming is being used for copyright infringement!
You can also find more documentation at onecandleinthedark.blogspot.com
I’m all for capitalism & stopping piracy, but not at the expense of freedom of speech. And especially not when it comes as a thinly veiled guise for blatant greed.
And for those of you who are naive enough to think that this bill won’t be abused, remember that the ones supporting it are the same people who’ve sued 12-year-old girls, old women, the homeless & even the dead (which switched over to their surviving family after graciously being given some grieving time) for illegally downloading music… with the software they provided!