Is SOPA and PIPA a threat to ‘open’?

Wikipedia: black-out for 24 hours on January 18, 2012

Updated Post: 4:45 pm I hadn’t heard of SOPA and PIPA until I tried to use my trusty quick reference source Wikipedia. No go today my friends – for 24 hours, which started today at midnight, Wikipedia’s English encyclopedia will be under a ‘black-out’ period, in protest of proposed government legislation SOPA and PIPA.  Wiki’s blackout is a powerful method to raise public awareness of the potential implications of giving government control over web domains from foreign countries committing copyright infringement. Though seemly a legitimate intention, I can see why there is apprehension with Big Brother’s [potential] ability to intervene.

According to Wikipedia’s learn more link,  “SOPA and PIPA are badly drafted legislation that won’t be effective at their stated goal (to stop copyright infringement), and will cause serious damage to the free and open Internet. They put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites.”  Ok, what might  this mean for Wikipedia? For example, in its current form, SOPA would require Wikipedia to actively monitor every site we link to, to ensure it doesn’t host infringing content. Any link to an infringing site could put us in jeopardy of being forced offline.” All right, so now I can see where this is going…hmmm

Google: Their position...

Google’s Take
I have yet to read the wording of the proposed legislation, so I went to see what Google thinks – and no surprise, they are not for it either – they encourage the public to learn more – and contact their local representatives to protest. Vimeo has a pretty good video  that outlines the overall concept of these two proposals. Click the pic below to watch.

Vimeo: Protect IP / SOPA Breaks the Internet

The blog Watts up with That? has a list legislators outlining who supports what. This will be interesting to follow – if you feel strongly about this issue (either way) – I encourage you to get informed and then be vocal about what you think is right. I know I will🙂

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