Let's Talk About SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act)


So as the title suggests, I want to give a look at SOPA, a bill currently on the table in the U.S. Congress. I know some of you guys are living in other countries, but I still feel like it's pertinent due to the wording of the bill. Also, I like to throw this out because maybe I'm misinterpreting things and maybe I'm overreacting.

So I guess the most important question is what is SOPA? Basically, SOPA is a bill designed to allow the courts to authorize a block of certain websites that show evidence of providing copyrighted material to users illegally. This sounds all well and good, but I feel like the wording of the bill makes things a little too broad such that it can affect websites at a much larger scope.

Basically, any website that targets the U.S. is a potential target for this sort of court action. But this seems a bit off to me. Doesn't basically every website target U.S. users in some way? It's a world wide web, is it not?

So how does this affect us? While websites with subbed anime may not end up being affected because anime is Japanese, the file-sharing sites that host these downloads, such as Megaupload and Fileserve, will be prime targets.

Although certain sources voice their assurance that sites like Youtube and Facebook will not be affected by bill, I can easily see the possibility for them to fall to the broad wording that I've read. Maybe I'm biased because of the incredible implications this has to my normal browsing style.

I guess my biggest problem with this bill is the precedent it sets. I feel like even if this bill doesn't specifically create the Great Firewall of America, it lays down the foundation for it. And having spent a lot of my time in China, I can say confidently that it's not very fun having that sort of firewall.

Then what's the next step? What if America starts to censor the Internet in the same way that China does? China blocks all blogging platforms because they allow users to voice their opinions, potentially about the government. I'd hate to see something like that. But maybe I'm exaggerating.

So my final opinion. If Google's got a problem with this bill, then I'm gonna have to agree with them. I honestly understand about copyright infringement with things like music (I'd be pretty annoyed if I had to find Japanese music legally, though...so much trouble). But I feel like anime really doesn't lose so much from the piracy because of how much money they get from merchandise, and the exposure in America and other parts of the world only helps with that.

Most of the information I'm getting come from a combination of Wikipedia, americancensorship.org, and some random news articles. So feel free to check those for the information that I definitely missed. Honestly, I was a little hesitant about posting this because of possible misinterpretations on my end, but I'd really like to know everyone's opinions.



  • Joojoobees

    Dec. 30, 2011, 3:16 p.m.

    I agree with you. In fact I am inclined to go further. I don't see anything in these "Intellectual Property" protection bills that gives me confidence that they can't be used against fansubbers, any-bloggers, and creators of fan art. Supposedly the only sites that I will be blocked from using are those that use IP that they don't own, and theoretically that only applies to IP owned by someone in America. You mention the possibility of others using SOPA as a template for retaliation from other countries, and the side-effect of sites being blocked because they ALSO have American IP, but I wonder if a Japanese company (say Sony) wanted to have US web users blocked, won't they be able to bring the same legal action, given that they hire lawyers in the US as well?

    At any rate, I find SOPA disturbing. I know I don't want to go to jail for posting screenshots, and WordPress might just decide that it isn't worth the hassle to let me post content in the legal grey zone, since they could be shut down. And, of course, I haven't even squarely addressed the issue of torrents.

    Reply

    Joojoobees

    Dec. 31, 2011, 11:32 a.m.

    I wake up this morning to find my fears confirmed: http://ammori.org/2011/12/31/sopapipa-copyright-bills-also-target-domestic-sites/

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Dec. 31, 2011, 5:37 p.m.

    man...what a nuisance I still think that trying to stop piracy is not a bad thing, but they're just going about it so wrong

    Reply

  • feal87

    Dec. 30, 2011, 5:34 p.m.

    SOPA if passed could allow unrestricted censoring of website based on corporate interest damaging your country loved First Amendment.

    I wonder wtf are thinking the lawmakers there...:|

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Dec. 31, 2011, 5:38 p.m.

    if it passes, I may have to move to Canada >.> (or Europe)

    Reply

  • Jura

    Dec. 31, 2011, 6:26 p.m.

    It's really nice to see anime peeps warning others about SOPA. If it becomes law it'll leave most of the Internet vulnerable. Much more needs to be done than hoping it doesn't pass or waiting for someone else to take action. This will damage foreign and domestic sites alike. Those who pirate will still do so and those who decide to make a new blog or some other project may decide the risks aren't worth it.

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Dec. 31, 2011, 6:38 p.m.

    I can't just ignore it! I stay in America to avoid the firewall of China, not to get the same exact thing

    Reply

  • baka0001

    Jan. 1, 2012, 3:48 p.m.

    I hope the U.S doesn't end up like China but I feel like it has started the process of more control and restrictions to American citizens.

    Reply

  • Rei

    Jan. 1, 2012, 9:46 p.m.

    SOPA sucks... Fuck it -____- I'm currently pirating every company that supports SOPA.

    Pretty much everyone doesn't agree with this thing called SOPA. GoDaddy registrar domain has the worst effect when it comes to it. They have lost, hundreds of thousand of customers just because they support SOPA. I'm really not so sure why the stupid fat government supports this shit, but i'm so sure that every people in US doesn't like this.

    Reply

    Rei

    Jan. 1, 2012, 9:50 p.m.

    Here is an awesome infographic about SOPA. http://mashable.com/2011/11/16/sopa-infographic/

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Jan. 2, 2012, 1:22 a.m.

    Despite the outcry it's caused, I think most people who support the bill can't see past the anti-piracy aspect. They just say "oh, stopping piracy is good" and don't bother to read the specifics of the bill. American ignorance, I guess...

    Reply

    Rei

    Jan. 2, 2012, 11:45 a.m.

    yeah i guess what you just said is right. i'm pretty sure some of them will oppose the bill soon. just like how it happens to sony, nintendo, and some other famous companies.

    Reply

    Jura

    Jan. 2, 2012, 4:32 p.m.

    They're backing out too late when SOPA/PIPA are so very close to being voted on and passed. It was likely keep their image and reputation.

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Jan. 2, 2012, 5:17 p.m.

    so...mass exodus to Canada if it passes?

    Reply

  • AceRailgun

    Jan. 3, 2012, 3 p.m.

    I can't ever see something like this being fully implemented, especially since the fine print is targeting all websites and not just anime based stuff.

    The Australian government probably hasn't even heard of this thing called anime so I know I'm safe here for the time being.

    It would be a huge pain to have to move to Canada or Europe but if the Internet got filtered like that I'm sure you wouldn't be the only one to move.

    Reply

  • toonleap

    Jan. 10, 2012, 10:53 a.m.

    If you think SOPA is bad, just look for ACTA on the internet...It is just WORST! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=citzRjwk-sQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmQN93NqqDM

    There goes our Internet...kaboom!... :(

    Reply

  • John Sato

    Feb. 7, 2012, 12:50 p.m.

    One of the most scary things to me is that SOPA or PIPA (I'm not sure which) actually has/had a provision that makes website owners accountable for copyrighted material on their sites (at least, to the best of my knowledge). What this means? Say someone were to post a copyrighted image in a comment on one of your blog posts. YOU could be held accountable for their copyright infringement. And I don't really see how that would be effective in stopping "piracy."

    And as for Canada...heck no, I don't have the money to move. Besides, I already live on the top part of the country, and, quite frankly, I don't need my winters to get any colder. I just got frostbite today, in fact. :)

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Feb. 7, 2012, 12:54 p.m.

    Actually, Canada may no longer be an option with ACTA >.>

    Reply

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