Being that I don’t know how to “black out” my blog in support of the seven-thousand-something websites who have already done so today, I thought the second-best thing I could do was at least show my support!
Now, if I don’t live in the USA, why am I so scared of SOPA? Well, as has been the trend since about the end of World War II, where USA policy goes, many follow. I also live in Canada which is currently ruled by a majority government who is quite friendly to big-business interests (and, by extension I would think, their lobby groups), so I’d imagine I’d be dreaming if I thought my government wouldn’t enact a similar policy in Canada should the USA’s SOPA and PIPA become law. (Plus there’s the fact that it’s an American company that controls all the domains in North America, so even if no law comes about in Canada, Canadians will still feel the two bills’ effects.)
Now, I barely understand the bills; with all the scrambling going on to get my business off the ground, I haven’t had much opportunity to better educate myself on the matter.
As a friend wrote on her website, “If you don’t quite understand [SOPA], in a nutshell, it’s terrible legislation that allows the takedown of sites which would ruin the internet as we know it and take away freedom of speech. “
Yes, VERY “the sky is falling” language being used, I know. But if what she wrote is overstating the ramifications of SOPA/PIPA becoming law, I don’t think it’s doing it by much; as the National Post (partially) explained it:
Several of the provisions in SOPA force American Internet service providers or ISPs hosting websites to remove a site from the Internet if there’s a claim it’s infringing against copyright, even if it has not been fully proved in court. The argument is that this would make it easy for someone to make false or weak claims to take a website offline while the case makes its way through the courts.
Additionally, it would force ISPs to block non-U.S. websites accused of having infringing material, meaning sites from other countries might not be available in the United States.
Some interpretations of the bill say that sites that even link to other sites accused of infringing might be at risk.
Basically, any site that has a large user-generated component is worried about SOPA. This is the document Wikipedia references when explaining why they are against the bill.
More information about the two contentious bills can be found here:
Some of the other sites standing against it today:
Special thanks to Mi40k.com –I saw their post today and felt that if I couldn’t black out my site today, the least I could do was follow their example (most of the links, images and format in this post were just copied and pasted from their post today!)
- Canada would feel effects of U.S. web-piracy laws (cbc.ca)
- Canadians join SOPA opposition (blogs.vancouversun.com)