I must admit that I knew very little about Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) until I followed a link to a site about a potentially powerful computer studies breakthrough called Raspberry Pi following a conversation I had yesterday with my brother.
The latest post on the site started as follows:
On January 18, Raspberry Pi, alongside many other websites, is going dark for a day to protest against the proposed introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the USA. SOPA will not just affect those in the USA; its knock-on effects would touch every website in the world. Under the proposed legislation, it would be illegal for us (or you) to link to any website – any website at all, including community-driven behemoths like YouTube, Flickr, Blogspot or WordPress – without checking first that nothing on that site infringes copyright. And we’d have to review those sites continually after a link was made.
Now I can see the implications for the freedom to surf the web and even my ability as a blogger to use material in a fairly fluid way would be greatly effected by this Act if it was passed by Congress.
I followed the link in the post to the Reddit site that is organising the protest against SOPA. THe headline was:
The first paragraph was:
The freedom, innovation, and economic opportunity that the Internet enables is in jeopardy. Congress is considering legislation that will dramatically change your Internet experience and put an end to Reddit and many other sites you use everyday.Internet experts, organizations, companies, entrepreneurs, legal experts, journalists, and individuals have repeatedly expressed how dangerous this bill is. If we do nothing, Congress will likely pass the Protect IP Act (in the Senate) or the Stop Online Piracy Act (in the House), and then the President will probably sign it into law. There are powerful forces trying to censor the Internet, and a few months ago many people thought this legislation would surely pass. However, there’s a new hope that we can defeat this dangerous legislation.
I for one hope that something can be done to stop SOPA happening. Anything that allows government control and censorship of the net is a dangerous development and needs to be fought against.
- Reddit Turning SOPA “Blackout” Into a “Learn-In” (yro.slashdot.org)
- Why Some of the Internet’s Most Popular Websites Will Be Going Dark on January 18 (laist.com)
- [SOPA UPDATE] White House Speaks Out Against SOPA (androidcrib.com)
- SOPA: Reddit Confirms January 18 Blackout, Wikipedia and Others May Follow (techland.time.com)
- Boing Boing will go dark on Jan 18 to fight SOPA (boingboing.net)