Major Websites Mulling Blackout to Protest SOPA – Tech Tuesday
I’m sure there are many of you out there that don’t know , what SOPA is. It’s the Stop Online Piracy Act, and it’s been proposed by some in Congress as a way to combat intellectual property theft. The reason why many oppose it, is because it was written by the lawyers of big Hollywood movie studios and recording companies that want to control how and where you can and can’t as well as how much you pay for their music and movies.
But the thing is, these big companies are notorious for not taking consumer’s rights into mind and how the new digital universe works. They would rather see you go out to buy a $20 CD to just get the one song you want, instead of being able to go to iTunes, or Amazon and pay $.99 for the track.
The bill, if enacted would require service providers to block websites that infringe copyrights. The trick being that these big studios have been known to file copyright claims on things they don’t own, or are protected under the fair use provisions in U.S. copyright laws. But it could also make legitimate websites, illegal and change the web in drastic ways.
Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Zynga and a host of others wrote a letter to Washington, giving their opposition to the SOPA bill. As it stands now, they are more worried this may pass and cause more problems then it would solve. Now, according to an article on FoxNews.com, they are considering a “Blackout” of their sites to draw attention to the legislation. Boycotts of sites that support the legislation have resulted in those companies reversing their opinion of the bill. GoDaddy.com, one of the biggest domain registrars, lost 20,000 domains in the span of a couple days when it got out that they supported the bill.
Conceiving of a day without Google is kind of tough for me. I use it all the time. Facebook and Twitter too. And I would think if this was done, people in Congress would be getting a big wake up call on this legislation. I think this bill is pretty useless and does threaten the web as a whole. I urge you to read the bill and do what you think is right.