I could write a lot of things about this bothersome business, I could tell you how infuriated I am, how I get strange looks from the other side of the room when I start screaming “Curse you SOPA!” at the computer screen, but I’m not going to tell you all of that … um well, not more than I already did.
From what I understand is that basically if this bill were to become law the American Government gives search engines the authority to block websites that they find breaching copyright law, of course this would only apply to America but in the end of it all everyone suffers, but more on that later. Copyright holders could sue websites for piracy, that’s good and all but this means that we cannot post links to pictures, music, artwork, etc. on our blogs. But sharing links to the work of others doesn’t mean we say that the stuff is ours, we’re just sharing these document so others can see them too, but at the same time I don’t deny that not everybody does it like that. So why should everyone else be punished for what other people do? Now that ain’t fair. Tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.
Which brings me to another problem Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) poses. Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and personal blogging interfaces like Blogger and our very own WordPress would have to monitor the posts For. Every. Single. User. Using. Their. Services. As developed and widespread these interfaces are (WP and FB alone has millions and millions of users) there simply isn’t enough resources to get the job done, not to mention it’s a very time consuming task. Then, say like, if one or two or a group of blogs infringes the law the WP, the entire website gets – that is, WordPress in its entirety – blocked from search engines and I’m not sure if they can actually delete websites. That is totally unfair, WordPress sould not be at fault and it’s, as I’ve mentioned, virtually impossible to monitor everyone! WP encourages us to cite the works of other persons and franchises on our blogs we as individuals are responsible for what we post.
Even though this would happen in The U.S of A it will also affect those of us out of it. My blog could be blocked out of the U.S if I were to be caught breaking the law, but you see I’m not breaking any law and that goes for lots of others. Our rights of free speech is at risk, American or not. The internet does not belong to any specific person or persons, business(s) or governments, it belongs to all of us. So how come the American gov’t can even propose policing the Internet? Can someone please explain that bit to me? I can understand why many franchises are supporting SOPA but the Internet is a medium where their services are publicized, where consumers share their thoughts on their products, is that so bad? But we cannot even mention the name of a product, a song or a movie, because if they can sue you for the background music playing while your kid dances the baby dance in your YouTube video (as mentioned in the video above), what can we say?
I will not pretend that this didn't scare me - because it sure did. (Image via Wikipedia)
Yesterday Wikipedia and a large number of other websites had gone dark in protest of the bill and us here on WP had that option too, as well as a ribbon like the one I currently have that will be up until the 24th of this month when we’ll see whether or not our voices will be taken away from us. Heaven forbid that other countries implement SOPA because as the video had said, or at least what I thought it had implied, power would be in the hands of those who would want to take advantage of this law, not everyone is an angel promising to do what they had said or we wouldn’t have this problem in the first place. In that respect, SOPA can be dangerous.
If you’re a WordPress.com blogger, you can go to your Dashboard > Settings > Protest SOPA/PIPA page to support the protest. The blackout option was only for yesterday but the ribbon will remain available until the 24th Of January, 2012. Join the protest, help stop the dangerous Internet censorship.
Visit http://americancensorship.org/ or click on the ribbon on the top right hand corner of the page that says “Fight Censorship” to help fight against this nonsense.
I would recommend reading this post on the AIS Journal which had helped me to understand this sordid situation better.
Thanks for taking time out for reading what I had to say, until then,