Tuesday, December 13, 2011

SOPA

█████ I ████ ████ is ███████, ███████ ████ █████ ██████████ ████ to █████████ ██████████. Uncensor This

Think about it. How many websites do you view everyday that post content from other sites? Most of the blogs I read either post other people's content or link to other people's content. The SOPA bill (Stop Online Piracy Act) essentially allows the Department of Justice and copyright holders to seek court orders against accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. I agree, copyright infringement is wrong. But I feel as long as you don't try to claim the work is yours and give credit where credit is due, it should be a non-issue. Take my blog, for example. Most of the strips have been removed and are now gaping holes ruining every post from 2008 to mid-2010. Newer posts showcase the comic strip but the strip isn't uploaded to the blog or my own album, it is linked to the actual site it came from. I keep the copyright information and state at the bottom of the blog and in the About the Born Loser page that I claim no ownership for the strip. The other comic strip blogs I read also do this, the ones that don't, link to a site where the strip is legally hosted.

Depending on who requests the court orders, the actions could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators such as PayPal from doing business with the infringing website; barring search engines from linking to such sites and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. As the Internet is set up now under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, if a copyright owner notices copyright infringement, all they have to do is send a written request to the website asking for the infringing material to be taken down. SOPA would override DMCA and make websites who do not monitor what their readers or uploaders do liable and they could lose advertisers.

Now, do I really believe that SOPA will end up doing what is showcased above with big dark boxes across words like a letter from a POW camp? No. But I do feel that if SOPA is allowed to pass there could be a constriction on what can be posted. I've seen numerous people question why this bill affects them. If you don't post copyrighted material, then you have nothing to worry about. But we all do it. Those links on Facebook and Twitter. Correctly sourced citations on Wikipedia. Those song lyrics you posted as a status, that video from YouTube you just love to replay. All of that is copyrighted and while it does seem extreme, SOPA could make posting links to interesting articles on Facebook illegal and SOPA forces Facebook to monitor and report it.

On December 15th, SOPA is up for markup in the House of Representatives. What that means is the bill will be debated, amended and/or rewritten before being voted on. So there is still time to contact your representative and let them know what you think about this bill. For more information, you can go here.

Not being a fan of Asian foods to begin with, I probably would not patronize an Asian fusion restaurant and seeing this image on Wikipedia...
Japanese/Vietnamese cuisine of smoked salmon wrapped in rice paper with
avocado, cucumber and crab stick.
...reinforces that pledge.

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