So as the title suggests, I want to give a look at SOPA, a bill currently on the table in the U.S. Congress. I know some of you guys are living in other countries, but I still feel like it’s pertinent due to the wording of the bill. Also, I like to throw this out because maybe I’m misinterpreting things and maybe I’m overreacting.
So I guess the most important question is what is SOPA? Basically, SOPA is a bill designed to allow the courts to authorize a block of certain websites that show evidence of providing copyrighted material to users illegally. This sounds all well and good, but I feel like the wording of the bill makes things a little too broad such that it can affect websites at a much larger scope.
Basically, any website that targets the U.S. is a potential target for this sort of court action. But this seems a bit off to me. Doesn’t basically every website target U.S. users in some way? It’s a world wide web, is it not?
So how does this affect us? While websites with subbed anime may not end up being affected because anime is Japanese, the file-sharing sites that host these downloads, such as Megaupload and Fileserve, will be prime targets.
Although certain sources voice their assurance that sites like Youtube and Facebook will not be affected by bill, I can easily see the possibility for them to fall to the broad wording that I’ve read. Maybe I’m biased because of the incredible implications this has to my normal browsing style.
I guess my biggest problem with this bill is the precedent it sets. I feel like even if this bill doesn’t specifically create the Great Firewall of America, it lays down the foundation for it. And having spent a lot of my time in China, I can say confidently that it’s not very fun having that sort of firewall.
Then what’s the next step? What if America starts to censor the Internet in the same way that China does? China blocks all blogging platforms because they allow users to voice their opinions, potentially about the government. I’d hate to see something like that. But maybe I’m exaggerating.
So my final opinion. If Google’s got a problem with this bill, then I’m gonna have to agree with them. I honestly understand about copyright infringement with things like music (I’d be pretty annoyed if I had to find Japanese music legally, though…so much trouble). But I feel like anime really doesn’t lose so much from the piracy because of how much money they get from merchandise, and the exposure in America and other parts of the world only helps with that.
Most of the information I’m getting come from a combination of Wikipedia, americancensorship.org, and some random news articles. So feel free to check those for the information that I definitely missed. Honestly, I was a little hesitant about posting this because of possible misinterpretations on my end, but I’d really like to know everyone’s opinions.