In case you have been living under a rock I wanted to bring you up to date on some very important developments in the United States. You might be unaware but quite a few of the internets largest sites are going dark to protest SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and its sister bill PIPA (Protect IP Act) today including Wikipedia and Reddit. These new laws are making their way through Congress in the US and are intended to protect against piracy. The problem is that these flawed laws could destroy the internet as we know it.
I usually avoid anything political on BerryReview but both of these laws offer intellectual property owners like record labels and movie studios way too much unchecked power on the internet. It includes provisions that allow companies to demand that Google or Bing remove a website from search results, force Visa or PayPal to not allow them to receive payments, stop advertising services, and until recently force ISP’s to block the websites domain name through DNS. (Thankfully that last provision DNS provision was recently taken out)
While some may think that does not sound all that bad if it was a judge or jury making that decision but there is no such thing. SOPA originally wanted IP owners to simply send a notice based on “Good faith” that the site was infringing and then it would have to be blacklisted within 5 days. This has changed through the many revision but mostly remains the same. The DNS blacklisting provision was also taken out this week because it would have simply created our own Great Firewall of America to mimic the Chinese censorship.
All in all both SOPA and PIPA are the equivalent of giving IP owners a sledgehammer to squash a bug as a sort of Carte blanche situation. It has the potential to destroy the internet ranging from huge sites like YouTube to your own Twitter feed. It would even change how BerryReview runs and subject us to constant fears of censorship. Content creators like the MPAA are claiming that these laws are needed to protect US jobs and lost revenue but scope of their claims repeatedly don’t stand up to scrutiny.
Either way we highly recommend you read up on SOPA and PIPA so you are informed about what the MPAA and RIAA are trying to shove down our throats through Congress. This is a global issue since America starting to censor the internet can lead to ramifications around the world. If you live in the US please make sure to contact your representatives to tell them how you feel about SOPA and PIPA before it is too late.
As the saying goes ”Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Make sure you are well armed with knowledge!
PS: The irony of this all is that the MPAA thinks that Wikipedia and others going dark to protest SOPA is an abuse of power when the MPAA is essentially promoting censorship…