If you have visited the English Wikipedia site today (18th January) you may have been greeted by this:
Wikipedia and a lot of other websites and internet entities are also blacking out today or providing information to contact your local senator; Google, Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress, Internet Archive, Tor… but why?
I feel it comes down to the underlying concepts of the internet, here are what I feel are the two most important:
- All data is created and transported equally.
- “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” ~ Voltaire
The US film and music industries in their outdated concept of piracy and IP protection feel this is wrong.
I agree that there are piracy issues on the internet, but like most security experts the concept of SOPA is fundamentally flawed. To put this in context, the landing page of Oatmeal perfectly demonstrates this via an animation.
If SOPA passes, the majority of sites on the internet could be deemed illegal in the US, or large companies can forcibly ban them in the US; this site could be taken down for example, or even worse, facts about Chuck Norris would be illegal (Unless Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicks the legislation).
MPAA, RIAA, Stopped they must be; on this all depends.