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There has been a lot of hue and cry about a certain bill called SOPA which is in the process of being made an Act. It is called the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (SOPA) and it has some serious ramification on the future of communications. So how could something as noble as fighting piracy be that bad for us?
Simply put, the Act allows copyright holders to request the take-down of the entire website even though the infringing material might be a link that some else uploaded which is pretty common on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. With this act, some one can order the court to shut down Facebook till the infringing material is removed. Imagine, Youtube going down because of the stuff people upload to it. This will be operations nightmare for Tech and Internet companies. We have started using the Internet for a variety of things right down from scientific experiments to getting our shopping done. How could we deal with the fact that entire networks could be taken down on the basis of a one complaint? There is piracy on the Internet but that does not mean the vast majority of law abiding people have to suffer because of this. Antagonistic attitudes towards piracy will result in only more ‘hacking’ by the pirates. The act is very vague and could easily be used for many other nefarious means in the name of Copyright protection.
This move by the US Congress is eerily similar to censorship and will most definitely used to shut down most American Technology companies. This, in a time when the economy of the nation is already unstable! It will affect startups as the confidence of VC’s will wane thus resulting in lesser jobs in the country.
Shouldn’t this be delegated to people who do know? Do they even know the operational impossibility of such an Act? Earlier, Kapil Sibal uttered some nonsensical things like censoring Social Media and now this SOPA? Why are we going backwards instead of moving towards progress? What do you think of censorship on the internet?