H.R. 3261, also known as SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) seems like it should be a good thing, especially if you read the marketing material in support of this bill. However, upon closer inspection, SOPA brings internet censorship to dangerously draconian levels.
On the surface, SOPA is apparently designed to help protect America’s intellectual and copyright properties from infringement from foreign entities. They even throw in foreign pharmaceutical companies that sell products that aren’t FDA approved.
However, look a bit closer at the text of H.R. 3261, and it’s clear that this bill’s passing could have serious consequences for how the internet functions. It gives the government an incredible amount of power to shut down websites that even vaguely fit the category of “infringement”. It would also potentially make streaming video illegal. So, next time you want to watch a livestream of a game, or share your game activity with your friends – yuou could essentially be guilty of copyright infringement.
It’ll be interesting to follow this bill’s journey through the legislative process. If it passes, we could be seeing a very different version of the internet in a few years.