Censorship is alive… and it’s about to take over the Internet. There is a new bill floating around the House of Representatives called SOPA –Stop Online Piracy Act. In theory it sounds fair – it would give the music and movie industries (among others) the right to keep their copyrighted materials from being stolen and republished online illegally.
But here is where is gets all wonky, let me throw a theoretical situation your way. What if a user on Facebook posts Rhianna’s new video on their wall? This would violate SOPA and entitle Rhianna’s music label to sue Facebook. But wait, Facebook didn’t do anything wrong, one of its users did.
This would mean that Facebook would need to spend millions of dollars to censor its service. Facebook might be able to afford this, but what about small start-up companies that rely on user-generated content? Smaller companies can’t afford to spend millions of dollars on censorship; which means they wouldn’t be able to start-up anything at all. Not to mention we are in America – we shouldn’t need to censor anything anyway!
We are in the midst of an internet age, the old laws don’t apply any longer – the entertainment industry will never be able to win this war. Instead they should embrace this wonderful new age and find different ways to monetize.
The bill is a long way from passing but if does, then that opens the door for similar bills – and then where does it stop? In the future, could I get sued for mentioning Rhianna in this blog without permission? That’s a future I certainly don’t want to see come to fruition.