A SOPA bill summary released by Rostin Ventures Public Affairs Issue Analyst, outlines the Stop Online Piracy Act, to be voted on soon in the U.S. House of Representatives. While the main goal of the bill does seem positive, to prevent copyright infringement and protect intellectual property, the bill’s vague language poses a threat to all members of the social online media community from search engines like Google, to social media giants like Facebook, to SEO, Social Media & Online Reputation Management Specialists like Rostin Ventures.
The SOPA Bill would not only give power to the Attorney General to shut down websites with copyright material, but it also lowers the threshold for who can be liable for IP theft. Under this bill, if an ISP, search engine, payment network, or ad network doesn’t take drastic measures to prevent piracy, they can be held responsible for copyright infringement. Any site could be declared “foreign infringing” if its domain name registration authorities are located outside the U.S. and the site “facilitates” the commission of criminal copyright or trademark infringement. In such an event the Attorney General would be permitted to shut down the host site. It is important to note, the bill doesn’t take into consideration whether or not the facilitation of infringement was intended or the amount of noninfringing content on the site.
In addition to allocating too much power to the government to regulate internet activity and threatening the operations of companies that play a key role in our domestic economy, SOPA fails to even achieve its main goal of stopping piracy. While shutting down a host site does increase the difficulty for piracy to continue, the site may still be reached with its IP address. Because the bill does not call for the elimination of IP addresses of pirating sites, it is not sufficient in stopping copyright infringement.
If passed SOPA could have serious negative implications for social media, stifle speech and innovation as well as economic growth during harsh economic times. Rostin Ventures will take all means necessary to inform its clients and the rest of the social and online media community of these potentially disastrous effects, and asks for your support.
Rostin Ventures Inc. Press Contact - Cameron Ross, Issue Analyst