DAILYHOSTNEWS, January 11, 2012- The much hyped and talked about bills namely SOPA and PIPA have already stirred the internet with various online campaigns and discussions against them.
Everyone’s eyes are set on D-day when the USA Congress will be voting on the internet censorship bill SOPA. The discussion has attracted even those who have a laid back attitude towards the happenings in political circles.
Many social networking sites and microblogging platforms are getting engaged in gathering votes opposing the proposed bill.
Viewing the situation as a bystander gives a feeling that both the sides have valid points to state themselves correct. Whereas the U.S government’s concern surrounding the safeguard and copywriting issue of intellectual property cannot be rejected at once, the apprehension about probable outcomes of SOPA of those who earn their living solely through the medium of internet is also not something that can be disregarded.
If the Act becomes the law, the U.S. Department of Justice and the copyright holders will have powers to seek court orders against websites found indulged in enabling or facilitating copyright infringement.
Does this sound wrong? Well, at the first sight, no.
But it also states that the actions against the websites could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators.
As per the proponents of the bill, it protects the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is necessary to strengthen enforcement of copyright laws especially against websites registered outside the U.S.
Sighting the fact that according to the provision of ‘The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)’ passed in 1998, copyright owners can serve a notice to the website if it is found accused of hosting the content that infringes on their copyright, asking for the content to be removed. The website is then given a certain amount of time to remove such material. The enforcement of SOPA as a law is likely to outweigh the existence of this provision by allowing the immediate blocking of any website found guilty of hosting copyrighted material.
According to the opponents, the bill’s does not state its objectives clearly and therefore even a single and minute complaint against a major website can serve as a reason for that site to get blocked. This in turn will require that site to arrange for the proofs to get it unblocked.
This is what has become the crux of the whole point and thus reason for such a massive opposition!
Expressing the concern of the artists who depend on the social networking sites for their living, the fighforthefuture.org in an open letter to the US Senate and House of Representatives sends a message to the congress men to oppose the Act stating it as dangerous, ineffective and short sighted.
The organisation also provides the list of various people stretching from artists to the author, who have joined the campaign and signed the letter.
‘Stand against SOPA’ is another site created for the sole purpose of forming grassroots movement against SOPA. americancensorship.org is another name that has joined the hands against SOPA.
Not only the websites, but the popular comic strip ‘Mafalda’ has also turned thumbs down to the passing of the Act as a law.
The strip features its character Mafalda with a line “Otra vez SOPA” meaning goodbye SOPA or see you another time.
The WordPress organization through its blog has also registered its disagreement with SOPA. Addressing its more than 60 million users and others, WordPress stated that law making shouldn’t be done in haste.
After the Reddit’s campaign against GoDaddy’s support to SOPA which eventually led GoDaddy to change its decision, many other websites have come up giving a platform to the people for expressing their outrage against SOPA and PIPA.
While everyone is engaged in opposing or favouring the Act, has anyone ever suggested any alternative or the ideas for the betterment of the proposed law?
On January 24th the Senate will vote on the first ever internet censorship bill of the US. Only 12 days to go.
The alternate online piracy bill called Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN Act) has received praises from the opponents of SOPA and PIPA.