2012
01.21

So it looks like SOPA, the censorship bill that would have crippled the Internet, is dead.

Except, it was not a censorship bill.

And it probably would not have crippled the internet.

Sure, it would have affected you if your name was, oh, Perez Hilton.  Imagine how that would have worked?  He would never have been able to download, edit, and repost any picture of any model, actress, or celebrity.

Let’s say you are a music reviewer.  You go out and you buy a CD from your local store and share your thoughts with your readers each week.  Should a record company feel froggy, you could have your site shut down.  Wait, what?  Why are they censoring me?

They’re not.  They’re protecting their copyright and branding.

How far could this go?  Would I be able to go to another site and tell them that the webmaster is using my name against my wishes or posting a picture without my permission, and as such shut them down?

Regardless, some of the Internet’s biggest websites went black or posted information on how Americans can contact their local government representatives to have them shut this bill down.

So the legal tool the US Government was going to use to go after overseas pirates of illegal movie downloads is gone.  What are we to do?

Listen, I’m no legal beagle but I can tell you this.  The US Government doesn’t have legal clout for a crime that occurs in New Zealand.  But if SOPA passed, and let’s say there there was a website like MegaUpload with hosting and such in New Zealand, SOPA could easily shut that site down and arrest the site owners.

Now, without SOPA, that can never happen.

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