In protest, thousands of websites went black today in protest of SOPA (stop online piracy act). What this basically means: if this is passed, people will be able to sue other people for copyright infringement when they post or enable “copyrighted” material online. Now I am, as I am sure most people, are all for protecting copyrights and am against online piracy.
But here’s the catch…
Where do you draw the line? Let’s take this website for example. If this is passed, our website could be shut down and blocked at any given time if I display an image of a logo, tagline, photograph or whatever that I didn’t create. It could be as simple as me writing a blog post about a logo I love. It’s my opinion. I should have the right to talk about something like that freely (hello… freedom of speech, our first amendment right?!) But if the original creator of that content doesn’t like something about it…anything at all… I would be forced to take it down because they own the rights and can tell us exactly how they want it to be used.
Say goodbye to blogs. Blogs are all about reporting on things. How will they effectively be able to post on certain topics or trends? Blog owners will also be fully accountable for their reader’s comments. One slip up and that blog is blocked. Oh, and bye bye YouTube. Not to say it’s going to be the demise of YouTube but it will suffer some severe consequences. How many times have we seen the cute babies dancing to Lady Gaga or the fun toddler doing her rendition of Born This Way? If SOPA passes, no more cutesie videos. It doesn’t matter if they were harmless or not. You don’t own the rights to that Lady Gaga song, therefore, YouTube will be forced to take that video down if they are asked. Now will every video be shut down like that? It’s going to be hard and not everyone will be forced to take stuff down, but it could happen. You can’t stop them because they can tell you what you can and can’t do with their “intellectual property”. And it would just snowball from there…
Where do you draw the line? Don’t support SOPA.
Sign the petition here: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/
In protest, here is what some websites are doing:
WordPress even went as far as creating a plugin that would allow other wordpress sites to shut down in protest. It was downloaded over 7,000 times at the time of this post.