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We Should Care About SOPA

I considered joining the blackout today that big content sites like Wikipedia and Boing Boing are staging in protest of SOPA. Rather than disappear for the day, I decided to share some educational stuff about SOPA instead.

SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act (also known as House Bill 3261 or H.R. 3261). If signed into law, the bill would allow copyright holders to see court orders against web sites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. That sounds good until you dig into the details. In practical terms, it means that lots of well-intentioned people who create internet content would be open to lawsuits. Sites like Wikipedia and Boing Boing – and maybe even mine – would be crippled.

According to an article by David Carr of The New York Times, Google, Facebook, Twitter and other companies sent a joint letter to Congress, stating “We support the bills’ stated goals – providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ Web sites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting. However, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action and technology mandates that would require monitoring of Web sites.”

What You Can Do

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2 Responses to “We Should Care About SOPA”

  1. Erin says:

    Great explanation, thank you! I hadn’t heard of SOPA until yesterday, actually. I signed a petition.

    Also, I just ordered Well Fed. It’s about time, I know! :-)

  2. Corey says:

    Thanks for posting this info up, I’m happy to see more blogs recognizing the inherent dangers SOPA, PIPA and similar legislation poses for them and the internet at large. Keep fighting the good fight!

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