My website, as it is my single most important online asset, will be unavailable for 12 hours in protest to SOPA tomorrow. If you don’t know what all the fuss is all about, here is a video that should answer at least some of your questions and why major websites like Wikipedia…
I urge you to watch the video and do some reading about SOPA/PIPA, which appears to be a blatent attempt to impose broad-reach, ambiguously-worded legislation upon those who provide the internet’s architecture. As usual, this is good news for entertainment corporations and bad news for the little guy - just posting a video from a shopping center where background music is playing could potentially result in a massive lawsuit.
This is not just a United States issue. We have already seen UK courts folding to pressure to extradite defendants to the US for trial, for example the case of Richard O’Dwyre, an unacceptable situation when we’re just talking about copyright infringement, something that can be dealt with under UK law (or at least, we thought so). The last thing we want to see is more people being handed over to the US just because there is more chance of getting a conviction - this worrying trend, combined with SOPA/PIPA, makes a truly unpalatable cocktail.
It’s pretty telling that Rupert Murdoch is out on the side of SOPA/PIPA, unsurprisingly as he is someone who holds a great deal of intellectual property. He accuses the Obama administration of being in the pocket of “Silicon Valley paymasters” and favours broader legislative powers to protect what’s his. Apparently, his intellectual property must be protected by the law - it’s a shame he doesn’t feel this way about people’s personal communications: he, his family, his cronies and his staff have demonstrated nothing but contempt for the law when it protects individuals, but expect to be able to use it to protect themselves and their turnover.
Creative individuals like Glory and the minds behind internet giants such as Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales are fighting to prevent SOPA becoming law. Murdoch, a media giant under governmental investigation for numerous serious floutings of the law, think it is necessary. I know which side I’m on - I hope you’re with me.