For those who have heard about the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) or the Protect Intellectual Property act (Protect IP) and want to know what it means for you:
In hopes to reduce the amount of illegal movies, music, and media across the net, a few bills have been introduced to congress and will be voted on January 24th. These bills are backed by companies like Disney, Viacom, and CBS.
If passed, these bills will allow companies like Disney to take legal action, shut down, or sue any website or blog that has anything related to a company like Disney's "Copyrighted Material" or anything they say is close enough to their copyrighted material.
Say I were to post a picture of Woody from Toy Story on my Facebook profile, Disney could say that Woody is copyrighted material, and take legal action against Facebook for allowing this copyright infringement to take place on their website.
Personal Jail Time + Fine
Not only could they take legal action against Facebook, but they could take legal action against you personally. It becomes a felony to stream copyrighted work, with a potential 5 Year jail sentence and $2,500, even if you are not selling the copyrighted material, like singing your favorite pop song in a video on Youtube.
Website / Content Filtering
Disney could then force internet service providers to start blocking YOU and the general public from accessing www.facebook.com, or any website they decided has a problem with controlling "copyrighted material."
Websites Shut Down
If allowed to be passed, these bills will quickly shut down websites like Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pintrest, and pretty much any other website that people share media on.
OK, big deal? This is a very big deal. This may be the largest threat on the American Citizen's rights.
These bills allow media companies and the Government to filter, censor, block, control what you desire to see online!
If you are trying to research the holocaust, months from now you may not be able to; simply because someone in the Government deems that as "wrong" material for you to be looking at.
This is just the beginning.
Here's a great video explanation:
What you can do about it
- Spread the word! Tell your friends, tell your coworkers, tell your neighbors, family, mailmen, paperboys, tell everyone.
- Contact your congressman. Here is a great website to help you with that: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
- Join the movement and take advantage of some helpful tools: