What is SOPA? Why Everyone hates it?
SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act also known as H.R 3261, is a bill that was introduced in the US House of Representatives on 26th October 2011 by Lamar Smith. This bill expands the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online piracy, content theft, and duplication of copyrighted intellectual property.
The bill was not very much welcomed around the world considering the after effect that it would have on the way Internet. Many major internet giants like Mozilla, Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn has opposed the SOPA rigidly.
To give a clearer picture of the issue, an organization backed by Mozilla, Creative Commons and Wikimedia has created this infographic below that shows the effect the bill could have on internet companies.
What happens if this bill is imposed?
- The bill allows US Gov to block Americans from accessing websites violating the law
- DNS Blocking will be used to censor websites and block them in the USA
- The same method is being followed by countries like China, Iran, Syria
What are the after effects of this on a webmaster like you and me?
- In case your website is blocked you will stop receiving traffic from the USA
- Majority of the ad revenue is from USA and Canada – This will disappear
- This will restrict the USA from seeing and hearing only what the Gov likes.
How does this technically Work?
- Gov orders all ISPs in the USA to block all websites in foreign countries that host illegal content, images, text or videos.
- Order Search engines to modify search results to comply to the law
- Order payment providers like PayPal to shut down payment accounts of such websites
- Social media censorship will come into effect controlling the freedom to share and express.
- In short, the world will be so very controlled through the internet and it will not be as easy and free to find information like in today.
How all can your website become DNS Blocked?
- User posted rouge links can get your site blocked
- If counter measures not taken your website will be blocked due to lack of action
- Quotes and snippets of duplicate content found elsewhere
- Any type of media violating copyright acts in the USA.
How can you Stop SOPA and register a conflict in Interest: AmericanCensorship.org
The Ripple of objection has started off like a nuclear wave
There has been a huge ripple of objection from common internet users, Internet companies and ISPs against the implementation of SOPA as majority of the companies has expressed opposition. Initially
GoDaddy.com was one of the few huge names supporting the SOPA and the have already faced enough loss due to this statement as a result of mass boycott of their services by website owners. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Whales openly tweeted saying that they will be proud to move all their domains from GoDaddy.com and this was followed by a huge boycott of 21,000 domain names in one day from GoDaddy. Even several websites sprung up for the purpose of promoting GoDaddy boycott like ByeDaddy.com and Godaddyboycott.org
Finally the drama ended by GoDaddy publicly announcing their withdrawal from supporting SOPA
We will hope for the best and work together to boycott the SOPA and expect the governments to find smarter methods to counter content and intellectual property theft.