What is SOPA and what is the SOPA blackout all about today 18th January 2012?
SOPA stands for STOP ONLINE PIRACY ACT.
So what’s the deal and how does it affect us?
SOPA is a proposed bill that will crack down on piracy websites and copyright infringement.
Apparently their main targets are are overseas (namely European) sites that host/provide services to download copyright content.
Here’s a few examples on the sites in question:
And membership News sites like:
Also, streaming sites such as:
BeeMP3’s – Where you can search, listen to, and download music!
YOUTUBE! Yes, there it is, YouTube will be serious affected. There’s no way that can control the millions of users and uploads.
So now you have the basics, how would this affect us?
The bill is to stop access to any sites as shown in the examples above. And it also puts the site OPERATORS in jeopardy for content that USERS upload.
The bill requires every payment or advertising network operator to set up a process through which outside parties can notify the company that one of its customers is an “Internet site is dedicated to theft of U.S. property.” Once a network gets a notification, it is required to cut off services to the target site within five days.
Read the full article here: CNN SOPA Explained
Wikipedia also has an explanation on their site. Stop Online Piracy Act
Warrior Forum have gone one step further than Namecheap and taken their entire site offline in support to stop the SOPA bill from being passed.
Warrior Forum state in BOLD: This bill is not the way to handle the problem. It is a disaster in the making.
In fact Warrior Forum’s concern and explanation is true in many ways:
How It Would Work
Here’s the simple version: If the Justice Department or any copyright holder accused a site of “encouraging or facilitating” piracy, the government could order that site removed from US-based search engines and ad networks, forbid payment processors from handling transactions for them, and require ISPs to block access to those sites by their customers.
Let’s consider how that might apply to this forum… There are currently over 335,000 pages on this site. If just one of those pages contained a single post promoting an illegal download, or one WSO seller has used graphics or code from a copyrighted product without permission, or we miss just one Chinese spam for counterfeit goods, we could be blocked.
Would it matter that we actively look for and delete those posts? Maybe, but only after the process had begun. And we’d probably never know about it until the block was in place.
The amount of time that it would take to correct such an unjustified blocking would cause permanent damage to any interactive site. Shifting the membership away from a destination for that long nearly guarantees the site would never recover.
Along with that, there is no requirement that payment processors re-accept a site that has been blocked this way. You know how these guys work: They don’t care if the site is eventually found innocent. They’d label it as “high risk,” and never deal with it again. And they’d probably start creating whole new categories to lock out, just to avoid the headaches.
“You let visitors post on your site? Sorry. We don’t accept interactive services in our network.”
And, unless the ISPs are working from a centralized and regularly updated database, it’s unlikely most of them would ever remove the blocks once they were in place.
Mistakes would almost certainly be fatal to the target sites. We’re talking about legitimate sites that provide real value for their visitors and real incomes for their operators and their families.
Here’s the video from Worpress.org explaining exactly what SOPA is all about:
How would it affect us?
Well, if the bill is passed; expect to see a LOT of sites you may regularly use SHUT DOWN, banned from ISP’s, search engines, and even fined.
It does mean that online piracy of our own digital work would be cut down to a minimum (but it will never be stopped).
Either way; if you run a “regular” website, stop your users from user being able to upload potentially copyrighted material, and operate ethically you should be safe if the bill is passed. It just feels like big brother is monitoring our every move and taking control of everything we do.
What’s your 5 cents?