SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, is running into increasing resistance as more corporations denounce support for the legislation.
SOPA was touted first and foremost as a way to end the online piracy which occurs daily, but it appears to have overstepped its intention and become a focal point of agreement for members of both political extremes.
The unusual agreement between both the Conservative blogosphere and Liberal blogosphere against SOPA has been worthy of noticing for some in the corporate business. The Stop Online Piracy Act aka SOPA has been losing the support of the corporations who had first been highly in favor of the legislation by the US House of Representatives.
The SOPA legislation is meant to combat Internet piracy, but online commentators have raised the specter of running afoul of the proposed law by being only casually connected to a website which engages in piracy. It was suggested that nothing more than a link to the site would place a blog in jeopardy of being guilty of piracy by association.
Support from domain registration company GoDaddy was recently retracted as noted at Politico and FireDogLake (FDL)GoDaddy on its website offered a quote from Warren Adelman, the new CEO of GoDaddy: "Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation - but we can clearly do better,"
The legislation, which many are suggesting is nothing less than censorship of Internet content and an assault on free speech, has brought many disparate groups together for the first time, such as Red Mass Group, which is a Conservative site, and Blue Mass Group, a Liberal website to work toward a solution for the problems in the legislation, along with the Heritage Foundation and Beregrond, a Libertarian website.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt suggested SOPA would do more than simply damage the Internet: "By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet," Schmidt said, calling it a form of censorship.
If links are found to be tantamount to piracy, it could easily create very big trouble for Internet search engine companies such as Google and all of the others.
Several Washington D.C. law firms and lobbying groups were added to a list of corporate supporters by mistake and those who were willing to speak on the record were decidedly unhappy with the House Judiciary Committee. “It’s just incorrect. The firm has no position on SOPA,” Davis Wright Tremaine LLP spokesman Mark Usellis stated to Politico
Even the White House is looking toward opposing the bill, with a petition on the White House website to veto the bill if passed by Congress. The petition needed 25,000 signatures and so far it has 43,351.
The freedom of accessing information on the Internet is one which many now take for granted, and many are suggesting censorship in such a draconian fashion will literally kill the internet as we now know it.