You’ve probably been hearing quite a bit of hooha in the media recently on the proposed SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) and wondering what it all means.
Over the coming 24 hours or so, a number of ‘big’ online providers will be blacking out their sites in protest of this pending act. Many taking action with the forthcoming ‘blackout’ include such big players as the Warrior Forum and Wikipedia.
It is important that regardless of the country in which you conduct your business, that you be informed of what is going on.
Here is just a taste of what appeared on www.theglobeandmail.com
The pending legislation would boost the power of the Justice Department to punish foreign websites that infringe copyright. It has also pit Hollywood, which has lobbied for the legislation as a tool to protect content, against Silicon Valley, which sees it as a menace to free speech.
Online lobbying efforts to kill the bill already appear to have paid off. On Saturday, the Obama administration signalled it does not support aspects of the pending legislation – the Stop Online Piracy Act – and depicted it as a threat to global innovation.
The digital dust-up, however, continues with media baron and Twitter newbie Rupert Murdoch jumping into the fray decrying the Obama administration’s stance with a tweet.
“So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery,” posted Mr. Murdoch, News Corp’s chairman and chief executive officer.
The White House statement, posted Saturday on a new “We The People” page on its website, was issued in response to two online petitions against the legislation.
“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response,” it said, “we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cyber security risk or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” It was signed by three of President Barack Obama’s top aides: Victoria Espinel, intellectual property enforcement co-ordinator; Aneesh Chopra, U.S. chief technology officer; and Howard Schmidt, cyber-security co-ordinator for the national security staff.
Their joint statement, on behalf of the administration, was seen as a significant climbdown by some observers. In November, Maria Pallante, U.S. Register of Copyrights, testified at a congressional hearing that the law was crucial.
“It’s a significant retraction; a big win for the Internet and, frankly, for the hundreds of thousands of Internet users that have spoken out against SOPA,” said Michael Geist, a professor at the University of Ottawa that specializes in cyber law.
Read the entire post on the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) for more understanding of what is going on.
Many big players in the online world are showing their opposition to SOPA such as Google who are placing a black bar on the search field, whilst others are remaining fully operable despite voicing their opposition also.
Stay informed of what is going on with SOPA, and the effects, if any, to you as an online business owner.