View Full Version : Will the SOPA bill kill the Internet?

12-22-2011, 06:05 PM

Listen to Google, Facebook, PayPal and other Web companies, and you’ll hear that an online Armageddon is near: Bills now pending in Congress to thwart online piracy would violate free speech, destroy the technological underpinnings of the Web and hinder the user-generated innovation like the next YouTube or Twitter.

Listen to Walt Disney, the NFL, Eli Lilly and a slew of entertainment and manufacturing companies, and you’ll hear that the Internet is a lawless Wild West: Congress is only trying to be the sheriff and save American jobs, make sure writers and artists are paid and protect the public from fake Viagra and Coach bags peddled online.

Backers include a bipartisan array of lawmakers, unions and companies; they reject the comparison to Internet censorship tools the likes of which were used by repressive governments in China or during the Arab Spring.

But, at the same time, critics argue that the legislation could be implemented in ways that fulfill their Doomsday prophesies, such as taking down legitimate websites and silencing free speech. Silicon Valley sees this as an effort to get tech companies to police copyrighted content as Hollywood has tried to do in the past. It also worries that the entertainment industry — backed now by the Justice Department — will pursue offenders abroad with the overly aggressive gusto they used against college students who illegally downloaded tunes through Napster and other sites.

“Anything that threatens other organizations beyond our borders is also a threat to us given how Wikipedia works,” said Jay Walsh, communications director for the Wikimedia Foundation, which owns and operates Wikipedia. Wikipedia members are discussing whether to go dark in protest of the bills. “It could impact folks who are part of our effort to bring free information to the net.”

12-22-2011, 10:33 PM
It sounds to me like a bunch of sour companies that don't know how to keep selling a product and stay innovative. Instead of embracing the freedom of the internet and figuring out a new way to market and sell their products, they want the government to step in and legislate their way to stay in business.

It reeks of laziness and ineptitude. People who want to pirate content will still be able to do so... here is a quote from LifeHacker.

This means that if Lifehacker happened to have an article or two that could be interpreted as piracy-friendly, our domain could be blocked so it's unaccessible by visiting lifehacker.com. What the bill can't do is block numeric IP addresses, so you could still access Lifehacker, or any other site that could be censored, if you knew that address. This is important because it means this bill can't do much to stop downloaders of pirated content. If a domain name is blocked, everything will still work via the numeric IP address. Basically, the bill will be no good at stopping piracy—what it was apparently designed to do—but excellent at censoring any web site capable of providing its users with the means of promoting pirated content or allowing the process. This includes sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and many more. If it's possible to post pirated content on the site, or information that could further online piracy, a claim can be brought against it. This can be something as minor as you posting a copyrighted image to your Facebook page, or piracy-friendly information in the comments of a post such as this one. The vague, sweeping language in this bill is what makes it so troubling.If this bill passes, the internet is going to change completely. We have idiots running our country...

12-23-2011, 03:22 PM
I've been thinking about the criminal aspect of SOPA and Protect IP. In its current form, on-line copyright issues are a civil matter. This means that if you violate a copyright, the owner peruses the matter by suing you. What the industry is now asking for is that copyright matters become a criminal matter, where the government steps in and prosecutes you for a crime. This crime is then punished by either fines, jail time, or both.
What some people miss is that after a criminal trial, the person person wronged by the crime has all the case and investigative work done by the government and can file suite without much effort and win, because the guilt has already been proven by the criminal trial. So, in essence, the industries supporting SOPA and Protect IP are actually seeking a handout in the form of free legal and investigative work. All they have to do is swoop in after a criminal trial and extract the funds in a civil trial. We taxpayers get to foot the bill for the legal and investigative (police) work.

12-23-2011, 06:36 PM
America needs to learn it does not own the internet and needs to stop the big brother acts

12-28-2011, 07:31 PM
America needs to learn it does not own the internet and needs to stop the big brother acts
good luck with that. with the NDAA bill passing, america is one step closer to an Orwellian government. people are so blind to powers beyond their puppet government.