First of all, let’s look at the purpose of SOPA and consider what it’s intended goal is:
Taken from one of my favorite sites, Wikipedia, ironically one that would be blocked if SOPA was enforced, here’s a definition of what it is:
User-content websites such as YouTube would be greatly affected. Concerns have been expressed that they and many other similar sites would be shut down if the bill became law. Entire domains could be blocked if something was posted in a single photo, video, blog, article, etc. Taken to extreme, practically any website on the Internet would be infringing due to their content.
Let’s use the 6 websites with the most Internet traffic in the world and consider how SOPA may be enforced against them:
Almost every search result includes copyrighted materials which are not owned by Google: image search results, video searches, news searches, shopping searches. Google has the most to lose as a result of this SOPA enforcement.
Almost every photo and video includes copyrighted materials which are not owned by Facebook or its users.
The majority of videos posted on YouTube contain copyright infringements. In fact, even just recording a video of yourself with a bottle of Heinz ketchup in front of you is an infringement without prior written consent by Heinz themselves.
Same issues that are identified above regarding Google.
Baidu, the most popular website in China, serving 4.02 billion search queries a month. It will also suffer the same fate that Google and Yahoo will as cited above.
Wikipedia, who participated in an anti-SOPA blackout demonstration for 24 hours in mid-January , is considered the single most powerful research tool for many individuals in the world. Furthermore because it’s maintained by all of its users it is considered one of the least biased sources of information available today. Because it contains a lot of text, photos and videos; many of which is similar to previously created works (physical encyclopedias, etc.), you can count on this site being blocked by SOPA.
If you look at the top 50 websites in the world, I’m not even convinced you could find one single site that would not theoretically be infringing on a copyright in one way or another… this poses a tremendous issue. What is SOPA going to do? Block every site in existence? Obviously this doesn’t make sense, nor will it work. Do you think the economy is rocky right now? Just wait until you see what happens if this were to be enforced! Entire businesses would cease to exist over night and hundreds of thousands of individuals would become unemployed. In fact, odds are that a revolution would be started, one that would be accompanied with violent protests than would make recent protests look like meditation meet up.
Of course, we all know what would really happen. SOPA would be used as a tool, subjectively being enforced on some sites while blatantly ignoring infringements of others, but aren’t severely impacting the revenues of the rich. Energies would be focused on any website that is perceived to be costing the elite billionaires of the world even more additional revenues.
Now, let me make this clear, I’m not opposed to anyone enforcing their legal obligations. I purchase all of my music via iTunes, subscribe to Netflix for TV shows and movies, purchase a $60/month cable package just so that my son can watch one channel (Teletoon Retro) and buy the majority of my books on Indigo.ca and Amazon.ca. I don’t believe in infringing on copyrights, I want the hard working individuals and companies to be compensated for their efforts so that they can come out with even more fabulous entertainment for me to enjoy. But what I have a problem with is the reality that SOPA is being created to fulfill an agenda, an agenda of a few elite super rich individuals in the world so that they can essentially dictate and restrict the Americans’ freedom, at their expense via taxes nonetheless. This is unethical, no matter what justifications are behind it, do we still live in a democratic society or has it now become a dictatorship?
Oh and a few more things to think about…
- Who ultimately decides whether a site is blocked or not?
- What if a site is wrongfully blocked? How will they be compensated for their lost revenue? Will they essentially be out of pocket all lost revenue, plus court costs, plus lost time?
In the nation that we live in, an individual is considered innocent until proven guilty. Are we now considering reversing that? You can sit on the sidelines and watch this train wreck happen and waste millions of dollars of taxpayers monies simply to accomplish one goal, make the rich even richer, or you can speak up and fight… even just voicing your opinion helps because otherwise you’re guilty until proven innocent.
Time to choose…
CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive