A World Without Sharing: A World With SOPA/PIPA

The internet looks a little different today. Did you notice?

A quick Google search of SOPA and PIPA will provide you with a lot of information about these two pieces of legislation that are currently being examined by US congress. From the Google blog:

  • PIPA & SOPA will censor the web. These bills would grant new powers to law enforcement to filter the Internet and block access to tools to get around those filters. We know from experience that these powers are on the wish list of oppressive regimes throughout the world. SOPA and PIPA also eliminate due process. They provide incentives for American companies to shut down, block access to and stop servicing U.S. and foreign websites that copyright and trademark owners allege are illegal without any due process or ability of a wrongfully targeted website to seek restitution.
  • PIPA & SOPA will risk our industry’s track record of innovation and job creation. These bills would make it easier to sue law-abiding U.S. companies. Law-abiding payment processors and Internet advertising services can be subject to these private rights of action. SOPA and PIPA would also create harmful (and uncertain) technology mandates on U.S. Internet companies, as federal judges second-guess technological measures used by these companies to stop bad actors, and potentially impose inconsistent injunctions on them.
  • PIPA & SOPA will not stop piracy. These bills wouldn’t get rid of pirate sites. Pirate sites would just change their addresses in order to continue their criminal activities. There are better ways to address piracy than to ask U.S. companies to censor the Internet. The foreign rogue sites are in it for the money, and we believe the best way to shut them down is to cut off their sources of funding. As a result, Google supports alternative approaches like the OPEN Act.

Many sources have confirmed that President Obama has agreed to veto these bills, but the conversation is still worth having. While the legislation is specific to the United States, if passed, its effects will be far-reaching. Canadian or otherwise, any person or business on the web that has ties to the United States will be impacted.

Can you imagine a world where it’s illegal to share information and ideas? We can’t.

Collaboration makes things better. Sharing information is what connects us and drives us to excellence. We believe these things should be protected. And it’s why we support the websites that have “blacked out” to send a message to Congress.

  • As this post was being edited two more Senators backing the SOPA & PIPA bills pulled their support. Interesting stuff! Via Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/01/18/pipa-sopa-abandon-bill/

  • Great post! Also worth noting, that many of the companies who are backing SOPA & PIPA are ones with large market share in their prospective industries. SOPA & PIPA ensure this stays that way by limiting startup businesses, and giving these larger corporations the ability to strangle and censor website the sell ad space for these smaller startups.