SOPA, the US Congress’ Stop Online Piracy Act and its Senate equivalent, PIPA, the Protect IP Act, could ruin the internet. It’s that simple. This isn’t a fit of histrionics or a leftist screed. It’s a simple fact. People who don’t understand how the internet works are attempting to pass legislation that would, in the US, remove due process from intellectual property law and open the door to broad sweeping censorship. Make no mistake, this is not a problem exclusive to America. There’s no way the rest of the world would escape this legislation without significant fallout.
Aside from the precedent that this legislation would set, it would cripple the flow of traffic through US servers. Websites that use digital content under the rules of fair use, like mine, could be placed on black lists that would cut them out of search engines. These black lists would not go through a judge or a committee. They would be formed through the mere request of a given content producer. Content producers have the right to protect their intellectual property, but that does not extent to issuing cyber proscriptions. Of all the things that SOPA could do, there are many, this aspect stands to kill the democratic voice of criticism that has risen over the last decade. History has taught us that limiting critical expression is one of the first steps along a very dark road.
Opposing SOPA/PIPA is not endorsing piracy. It is about protecting free expression and due process.
Do your part and make your voice heard. Would you like to know more?