Here is a BBC News Article on the subject as well as a BBC Image Gallery with the 'Blacked Out' homepages for today.
Before i go on, i'd just like to say, my favourite comment on the subject from a website so far has to be:
Cult online comic The Oatmeal wrote:"like dealing with a lion that has escaped from the zoo by blasting some kittens with a flamethrower".
I'd like to know what people's opinions are on SOPA and PIPA as, if these laws are implemented in their current state, the effects of these laws will directly, or indirectly, effecting us all.
Before i state my opinions on the subject, i'd like to clearly state that any opinions are my own and any observations made in this post are based soley on what i have observed first hand and that yes, i do realise that they may be completely wrong statistically and may then make my opinion invalid, it is my opinion which makes it neither right nor wrong as long as i don't try and enforce it on people.
I'd like to start by saying that yes, i completely and utterly support the motivations BEHIND the laws. Who, morally and ethically speaking here, wouldn't? It costs us hundreds of millions, if not billions, per year on a world-wide scale that is growing exponentially each year at this moment. I think that, if it could save our governments money, especially at a time like this, as well as bring back jobs, then it has my support - Which is miniscule in comparison to whats happened today.
However, i also feel that the Stop Online Piracy Act ('SOPA') and the Protect IP Act ('PIPA') are very badly written and very narrow minded. Why? Well because these two acts will allow US Authorities to cut websites off and force them offline if they have any trace of Pirating or are HyperLinked to anyone who may be hosting Pirate media. Yes, the Hoster will have time to file a counter-notification (5 days), but they are cut off immediately, regardless and thats where my problem lies.
So - That doesn't sound that bad, so a site is down for a few days whilst they get it sorted, they'll learn their lesson right?
Ummm ... In theory yes, but that just doesn't sit right with me. Lets look at a scenario slightly closer to home, Starport. These acts would mean that someone would have to sit on this forum and read every topic. Post, by post, by post - To check if there are any links in any topics that link to pirated media, programs, movies etc, or any posts that tell you where you can go (Therefore breaking the Piracy section(s) of the law(s)), or if there are any images that have been posted that may have been posted without permission from the original poster, (Therefore breaking the Copyright section(s) of the law(s)).
Doesn't sound so bad right? Sit and read BBQ that happened a while back? Now remember, we still have BBQ in this forum from 4-5 years ago, some of the topics have hundreds of pages, thousands of posts - How long will that take? Could we really ask that of Toonces? Could we really ask that voluntarily of someone else to do? Doubt Toonces could afford to pay someone to do it.
So if any of these posts were found and brought to the attention of the authorities, anyone who is linked with this site has to cut ties with it. Any sites that provide traffic, advertising or process payments (etc) to the Starport.com domain and all the subdomains that are accessable by the public (/sgeforum, /blog etc) have cut ties and be taken offline respecively, until the problem has been solved - which may take weeks, months or years going through the US Legal System.
Now think about it in terms of Wikipedia, hundreds, if not, hundreds of thousands of people post on that website every day in almost every spoken language that can be found online, they edit entries, post in forums, add new content, etc, so what happens if someone posted an image that breaches copyright? Intentionally or not, thats Wikipedia offline and anyone who provides support either through traffic or advertising must cut their ties or risk going down with them - So there's that website and company, instantly losing money. They still have employee's, bills, rent etc to pay? Anyone who DOES support them after the Notification has been made will be subject to the same action taken against Wikipedia.
How long could they keep going for with no income?
What about Google? So much bigger than Wikipedia in so many ways - Imagine how many pirate sites it finds and displays every day? Granted, they might not be at the top of the list, but they are there. What if they inadvertantly miss one? No-ones perfect so it is possible, but what if they did? Google's gone overnight - Do you really want to have to be forced to use Bing? Or even Ask.com? What if someone who is innocent is censored? Google don't need to tell them, so they'll never know - A potential instant loss of revenue for the related company.
Like i said, i agree with the motivation behind these laws, but for the reasons outlined above, i can't support it in it's current state.
What about you?
What do you think about it?