A few weeks ago we reported on Go Daddy’s abandonment of support for SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Though is issue is far from over, some big names are stepping up to the plate to see that it doesn’t get too far.
Wikipedia will be following the steps of other big sites, like Reddit, and blacking out the English version of their site on Wednesday in protest of the legislation. Many people are concerned that while the bill is meant to protect media producers from having their content used illegally, it will in fact harm sites whose content is user-generated, including things like Wikipedia and YouTube.
Another big step for SOPA’s opponents came when White House representatives spoke up. Although the administration did not officially take a stance on SOPA, it did imply concerns about some recent legislation’s risk to cybersecurity and say that it will oppose any law that could create censorship.
California congressman Darrell Issa, who opposes SOPA, said that members of congress will need a lot more education about the way the internet works before there will be any serious legislation. He also says that he had understood that the bill would not be brought to a vote unless there is consensus.
As law-abiding consumers, this legislation would probably affect us primarily through the service providers who are threatened by it. SOPA would hold them responsible when other people posted pirated content on their servers. That means that besides media sources and web sites, web hosting providers could get in trouble over this, which is why the internet world was taken aback by Go Daddy’s original support.
So even if you’re not sure what this has to do with you as a consumer rather than provider of media, be sure to stay informed about the issues.