There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about the Stop Online Piracy Act. SOPA is legislation that will have deep reaching ramifications for Internet users. SOPA is not well known, and most peoplearefairlyignoranttotheacts impact on the free flow of information. Indeed, many politicians prefer that the innards of SOPA not be well publicized.
The Stop Online Piracy Act sounds like a great idea based on the title. Most honest citizens do not pirate music or movies, however, the heart of SOPA has little to do with protecting artists or musicians. One of the most controversialaspectsof SOPA is how user generated websites like Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin and Twitter would become responsible for the user generated content. This means that if there is anything deemed controversial, any lawsuit would be directed to the website host, not the user who generated the content.
The way SOPA is written, sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or Wkileaks simply could not exist should the new law pass. This boils down to an ominous censorship law that allows government agencies to police website content, applying pressure to those they deem inappropriate or out of line.
SOPA is essentially a way to commercialize theInternetand obliterate any semblance of free speech. In addition, SOPA targets only HTML based protocols. The way the Internet works currently is through Internet browsers. SOPA essentially tries to control only 1 percent of the available Internet portals, but that 1 percent happens to be the one that almost every commercial consumer uses. SOPA essentially allows the World Wide Web, and the HTML protocol to become hijacked by commercial interests, sending typical users either into court with lawsuits, or potentially into jails for breaking the destructive SOPA.Think of it this way, currently, if you set-up a Facebook page or a Blog, you have the right to write and post whatever you desire. Under SOPA, if someone finds your content disagreeable, they could sue the host of your blog, or Facebook, instead of you. Because of this, the hosts will not allow any user generated content, essentially censoring millions of Internet using people.SOPA will have deep ramifications for all users, and these will not be for the better. SOPA is loosing footing with politicians, and should hopefully get shot down when placed to vote. Get involved, and get in touch with your state’s representatives to ensure SOPA does not get passed.