Making Sense of SOPA

As many readers know there has been a internet blackout on a number of very large websites like wikipedia and WordPress.com and .org on 18th of Jan.

As Clay Shirky sees it – SOPA & PIPA are designed to “raise the cost of copyright compliance” for amateurs by changing the burden of proof so that pretty much all content not owned by “Big Media” is blocked.

The method – use the domain name system to block access – even though technically this is unlikely to work at all. Unfortunately there are other issues better explained elsewhere where the sides-effects and consequences will cause much confusion and collateral damage.

We are used to producing as well as consuming and digital technology allows us to do this when we share content that we originate, that we find and sometime what we change on the way through. (Creative commons licensing is an intelligent attempt to manage content rights.)

My summary – whatever the merits of copyright protection (and clearly that system is very broken) SOPA is not the way to fix it.

Also once a piece of legislation like this is passed it becomes much easier to foist it on smaller countries like NZ especially with the present government (via ACTA).  Remember the debate over the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011. Sadly many of the politicians in NZ had no real clues at the time but these issues need much smarter thinking as they are part of a much wider agenda.

John C. Dvorak on SOPA: Don’t Get Suckered by What Comes Next
John says SOPA is a sideshow for another bill

“This is so that the real bill, Senate S.968. The Patrick Leahy “Protect IP Act of 2011? will pass — while all the nuts argue about and then celebrate victory over SOPA.

The House will quickly agree and rubber-stamp the Senate bill which, according to those fighting these bills, is about 96 percent as terrible.

This is a disaster waiting to happen.

Nobody is focusing attention on this parallel bill. Watch this scam get executed like clockwork.”