Since the introduction of the world wide web it has always been a place for ordinary people to express themselves. In it's early conception the web was thought of as a folly by business and governments alike, even Bill Gates admitted he made a mistake by underestimating the power of the world wide web.
What is SOPA?
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as >H.R. 3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors. The bill expands the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Now before the House Judiciary Committee, it builds on the similar PRO-IP Act of 2008 and the corresponding Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act.
The originally proposed bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Depending on who requests the court orders, the actions could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators such as PayPal from doing business with the allegedly infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for 10 pieces of music or movies within six months. The bill also gives immunity to Internet services that voluntarily take action against websites dedicated to infringement, while making liable for damages any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement.
Proponents of the bill say it protects the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is necessary to bolster enforcement of copyright laws especially against foreign websites.Opponents say that it infringes on First Amendment rights, is Internet censorship,will cripple the Internet, and will threaten whistle-blowing and other free speech.
SOPA the Stop Online Piracy Act, is a proposed bill that would allow owners of intellectual property to block or disable any website that they consider infringes on their intellectual property.Unfortunately, the bill takes a “carpet bombing” approach to piracy and gives intellectual property owners unprecedented powers in being able to take websites down without any sort of due process.!
It is my belief and many many others in the web industry that this American legislation will have a profound effect on the World Wide Web as we know it.
It is my belief that hosting a website in America will no longer be an option for fear of legal action, popular website like YouTube Facebook etc will either cease to exist or radically alter the way people use these websites for sharing and uploading content. Even the mighty Google will no longer be able to supply web users with the rich and diverse search criteria that it supplies at the moment because Google itself would be liable in court for supplying links to websites that supplies content deemed to be protected by this law.
In essence this law will i believe devastate the American Hosting industry and Major players in the Social Network providers. America will slowly loose it's market share of the world wide web as a whole. I truly believe that the Web belongs to the people NOT American business lawyers trying to control the web and make it another boring place to be. They always seem to forget that the web is a place to share, talk, debate, and learn. By this process alone most of these so called "Intellectuals" and "artists" get the amount of free publicity and sales of their work.
This legislation is BAD for America and the World Wide Web as we know it .