Have The SOPA Opera Actors Gone Too Far

In this episode of our story, our heroes have been joined by many corporate entities, industry experts, and the entire European conglomeration to fight against the legislation that would be the ruination of the internet and their businesses. Under the auspices of a good cause, stopping copyright infringement, even the best of the legislators that are in Congress have had to hide in the shadows and take a back seat…

The evil legislation, SOPA, and her sister bill, the PROTECT IP act, have been in the limelight for some time now, but for those that do not know, the laws would in essence allow U.S. agencies to seize domain names, websites, and blacklist internet websites that they deem to not be following the letter of the law, but that isn’t all it will allow them to do. They will then be able to order any financial institutions that do business with the alleged lawbreaker to stop taking, or issuing payments to the websites and their affiliates.

Opposition Growing By Leaps And Bounds

In spite of the massive monetary support that comes from the Motion Picture Association and many other groups, the internet citizens are rallying. They have gained the support of the likes of Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and virtually every country in Europe, and are hoping that their voices can numbers will speak louder than the massive amounts of cash can muffle. They are claiming the vague nature of the language and definitions contained in the bills threaten even the most legitimate website on the internet.

In an internet raid earlier this year, the U.S. seized many websites, including the Spanish website Rojadirecta. This website had been declared as law abiding in 2 separate courts in Spain, but in spite of this, they were found to have U.S. jurisdictional ties, so their domain name was seized. Since the seizure, the website has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. court system, and are claiming that they have lost thousands of dollars due to the incident. The MPAA ad RIAA have made claims that they will be going after a Russian social website, and a Chinese website…how’s that for foreign relations?

Vague Criteria Equals Everybody Is A Target

According to experts on both legal and internet, virtually every website on the internet can be connected in some way to a U.S. jurisdiction. It could be as small of a connection as accepting payments through Paypal or an American based credit card company, or as large as a corporation that is based in the U.S., but if the connection can be made, the site can be a target for removal. As many people as there are that rely on the internet for an income, this legislation could be economically devastating. With the U.S. having a 9% or more unemployment rate for more than 3 years, this could send the entire globe back into the recession that a few governments are saying is over.

Supporters say that the bills would create jobs in the area of policiing the internet. A job they handed off to the ISP’s, hosting services, and other internet services. But this duty is such a massive undertaking that all of the experts are saying it is insurmountable. We can relate to this, but we do believe this…The fight will get harder before it gets easier.