by Trish Moore, Director of National Accounts, Apartment Finder
Today is an epic day on the Internet. Mega giants like Google, Mashable, Reddit, Wikipedia and dozens of others have rallied together by “going dark” to protest the SOPA and PIPA Act! This self-enforced action of “Blackouts” by the biggest tech giants is reflective of what the Internet could look like if this bill passes. Executives of LinkedIn, Google and Facebook also sent letters of protest to the sponsors of this legislation calling the bill “Dangerous to American Innovation and Cybersecurity.”
The SOPA Act is defined as “Stop Online Piracy Act” which also known as H.R. 3261,and is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and 12 initial co-sponsors.
Yes, we have issues with online Piracy; however, this act is written poorly and irrationally because the designing players stand to change the basic fundamentals of the web. For example, it could shut down the open post fields, kill reposting (goodbye, Tumblr), end-shared videos (sorry, YouTube), expanding the definition of what it means to infringe (sorry, Twitter, no sharing links that aren’t yours), force search engines to delete entire websites from search results.
The PIPA Act is defined as “Prevent Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011”. Get a look at a portion of the bill here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.3261. Section 102(a)(2) permits the attorney general to take action against foreign sites (i.e., sites that do not fall under U.S. jurisdiction) if “the owner or operator of such Internet site is facilitating the commission of [copyright infringement].”
So now it seems that some of the PIPA co-sponsors are jumping ship. Today, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio pulled his support for the bill, and SOPA co-sponsor Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle pulled his name Tuesday. Rubio communicated his withdrawal via a Facebook post, titled “A Better Way to Fight the Online Theft of American Ideas and Jobs,” in which he argues Congress should avoid rushing to pass the bill that could have unintended consequences. Right after the first co-sponsor’s withdraw, Texas Sen. John Cornyn posted this on his Facebook page: “SOPA: better to get this done right rather than fast and wrong. Stealing content is theft, plain and simple, but concerns about unintended damage to the Internet and innovation in the tech sector require a more thoughtful balance, which will take more time.”
In my opinion, this is not the answer to Online Piracy. If you want a real solution, then checkout OPEN Act, which takes targeted steps to cut off the money supply from foreign pirate sites without making US companies censor the Web.
The view expressed are those of the author and, while posted on this website, do not necessarily present the position of Apartment Finder or Network Communications, Inc.