Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, is churning up increasing debate as the holidays approach. There’s irony here. The very public response about SOPA is freedom the bill, or its Senate sibling PROTECT IP, could take away. Dan Bull’s “SOPA Cabana” YouTube music video is example of the grassroots response to the proposed legislation. YouTube is one of the services SOPA would target, likely diminishing freedom of expression like Bull’s. The headline to this post comes from his video.
To recap, Senators introduced PROTECT IP in May and House representatives did likewise with SOPA in October. Either bill would give the government broad powers to take down websites, seize domains and compel search engines from indexing these properties. Little more than a request from copyright holders is necessary. It’s essentially guilty-until-proven-innocent legislation that would punish the many for the sins of the few, while disrupting the fundamental attributes that made the Internet so successful and empowered so many individuals or businesses to accomplish so much. (Review the bills: PROTECT IP. SOPA.)
BetaNews poll “US Congress is considering two new copyright bills: PROTECT IP and Stop Online Piracy Act. Do you support them?” makes your position clear. Ninety-five percent of the 3,400-plus respondents answer “No”. Less than 3 percent support the bills.
Today’s strangest SOPA news comes from registrar Go Daddy. I had been pondering moving all my domains off Go Daddy for its support of SOPA and writing a commentary about it (Stop Using Go Daddy Act, SUGA). But the company reversed course today, which I must assume is more about controlling PR damage than anything else.
The press release is clear enough, beginning: “Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA, the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ currently working its way through US Congress”. That’s quite a bit different from “Go Daddy’s position on SOPA“, which posted to the registrar’s support site yesterday. But, whoops, the text has vanished being replaced by: “We’ve listened to our customers. Go Daddy is no longer supporting the SOPA legislation”. By chance, I hadn’t closed the browser tab opened earlier with the original statement. I saved it as PDF for your review.
If I could afford moving my domains to another registrar, I might still. But that’s not a budgetary option.
Circling back, enjoy the video. If you’ve created something opposing, or even supporting, SOPA please link in comments.