Some of the internet’s biggest names – including Google, eBay and Wikipedia – have joined up to slam the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa), which is currently passing through the US Congress and which could reach a vote as early as December.
The web giants claim that by enabling the US to take down sites that are deemed to be infringing copyright, the Sopa bill effectively creates an ‘internet blacklist’ that enables massive state censorship and will do little if anything to really tackle online piracy.
Wikipedia warns that Sopa could change the internet as we know it, while Google, Facebook and Twitter have written to express their concern about the bill. There’s a pretty powerful coalition forming in opposition to Sopa. Matt Cutts has also written about the dangers of Sopa, and offers advice on how US citizens can contact their members of Congress. For those of us in the UK and other non-US countries, it seems all we can do is spread the word.
While most of that commentary is from an American point of view, it’s worth pointing out that those of us in Europe stand to be massively affected by the decisions of the US Congress regarding Sopa, and we have no way of registering our opposition or making a difference. Democracy, eh?