If you’re like thousands of American’s that visit Wikipedia.com you’ve likely noticed the warning that Wikipedia will be down for 24 hours to protest SOPA and PIPA….just what are they talking about??
SOPA is referring to an proposed bill – Stop Online Piracy Act, which can be viewed here: H.R. 3261.
PIPA is the Senate’s version of the bill – Protect Intellectual Property Act.
SOPA is designed to provide intellectual property owners with an avenue to take down websites accused of infringing on copyrights – for example: hosting, streaming, or sharing movies and music; selling knock-off’s such as fake iPhones, iPads, etc.; and even those sites illegally selling prescription medications online.
On the surface that sounds great, right? So what’s the issue?
On the surface of the proposed legislation aims at foreign sites or “US Directed websites”, there is nothing protecting a U.S. website from being targeted. If a complaint is received by an ISP (Internet Service Provider), such as CenturyLink, Comcast, etc., the ISP would be required to take action against the site within 5 days of receiving the complaint – taking down the site. Search Engines would be required to do the same – remove links, ads, etc. Another concern is that the Act grants broad level powers to the Federal Government, which opponents of the bills are concerned it opens the doors for government censorship.
Imagine a competitor decides to report your website! What recourse do you have to keep it active? The bill permits the site’s owner 7 days to respond to the allegations or complaint. However, once you’ve been removed from the search engines, restoring ranking is an organic process – they will not just drop you back where you once were if the allegation is found to be false.
The Internet’s Response: Those of us who make a living through the internet have to protest this blanket legislation. Many websites are planning a “Blackout” on January 18th from 8am – 8pm EST, in response to the proposed legislation – a message to demonstrate what the web could be like, should these bills pass.
Here’s a list of the proponents of the SOPA bill.
So, what does this mean for you?
Q2 Interactive Media will be participating in the Blackout. The www.q2im.com website will go dark for 12 hours on Wednesday, January 18th. We urge you to participate. This legislation has not been well thought out. It is wrong for the internet right now.
This bill has been brought about with pressure from Hollywood and the recording industry. Other bills have been proposed that would redefine the existing copyright infringement laws to include the illegal downloading or streaming of protected materials. That is a solution. SOPA and PIPA are not.
Q2 Interactive Media is a web presence optimization company specializing in web development, search engine optimization and marketing. For more information about Q2 Interactive Media or this article, please contact Michael Paxton at 719-266-2299 x100 or Michael.email@example.com