Yesterday, we’ve posted a 5mn introduction to Stop Online Piracy Act (aka SOPA) proposed law, that is being debated right now. If signed into law, SOPA could let anyone sue -and shutdown- a site like YouTube because one user uploaded some illegal content. Today’s alternative is that YouTube is given a short amount of time to remove the content.
Obviously, neither solution is ideal and perfect, but the current situation based on the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act (DMCA) gives a chance for great services with user-generated content to exist. In the hands of the wrong judge, SOPA can jeopardize the entire collective intelligence of the web. Many believe that if SOPA becomes law, large corporations could (and would) sue competitors and detractors out of the web whenever they have a chance. Although there is no proof that they would actually do it, it is fair to argue whether or not it is a good idea to even open this possibility.You may think that only the entertainment industry has thrown its weight behind SPOA, but thenextweb has found that the Business Software Alliance (BSA members), which includes Apple, Microsoft, Intel and others, is supporting SOPA. Note that most, if not all are not “web” companies. At the moment, no companies has individually commented on the matter, but chances are that the public pressure will build up for them to do so.
In the meantime, companies with deep web roots like Google, Mozilla, AOL, Twitter etc… are trying to fight off SOPA. At the moment, the standoff continues, but SOPA could have repercussions on everyone’s web usage, so at the very least, you should check out what it is.