SOPA, Internet Marketing and YOU

SOPA – Stop Online Pirating Act.

Have you heard about it yet?

Basically, it's a flawed way of preventing online stealing of content.  Sounds easy, eh?

Well, check out this description by The Verge:

….Stands like these are an important touchpoint when you read or hear about the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and its sister bill in the Senate, the Protect IP Act, or PIPA. Both bills attempt to deal with online sites that traffic in illegally copied content, but at extreme cost of remaking the architecture of the internet itself. That’s a high price to pay, especially since neither bill will actually curb real piracy: SOPA and PIPA are the effective equivalent of blowing up every road, bridge, and tunnel in New York to keep people from getting to one bootleg stand in Union Square — but leaving the stand itself alone…. MORE …..

I'll be writing a tutorial about SOPA and Internet marketing starting next week, but did want to give y'all a headsup now.

To learn about SOPA and why you should care, I've found the following articles that explain it beautifully!

So by now, you're probably wondering: "Jeepers!  What *Is* SOPA and why should I care?"

So glad you asked!

The C|NEt article, "How SOPA would affect you: FAQ" describes it nicely:

"Q: What's the justification for SOPA and Protect IP?

Two words: rogue sites.


That's Hollywood's term for Web sites that happen to be located in a nation more hospitable to copyright infringement than the United States is (in fact, the U.S. is probably the least hospitable jurisdiction in the world for such an endeavor). Because the target is offshore, a lawsuit against the owners in a U.S. court would be futile….MORE…."

It's touted as a way to stop online piracy, but can go far far *far* further along the path to the Dark Side.  David Hall wrote a great article about it, to wit…

…To me, SOPA has got it all wrong. In the past, if we purchased a record, tape, or CD, we were free to lend it to a friend. If we shared similar tastes in movies, we could arrange a DVD swap, right? But if I buy a song on iTunes, I can’t share a copy with my friends. Huh? The flow of information on the internet doesn’t mesh with the archaic revenue model for the large entertainment industry, but instead of updating the model, a government-run censorship of the internet is what we may be faced with….MORE….

Do check that article – it has a great infographic as well that brings me to:

How Can SOPA Affect the Internet (and Internet marketing)?

Daniel Snyder wrote a comprehensive answer over at

20 Ways SOPA Can Affect The Internet

To wit:

  1. Death Penalty For Online Businesses: SOPA authorizes sites that are reported for copyright infringement to be cut off from their domain name. ISPs can force advertisers and payment processors to suspend their services to the site.
  2. Sites Blocked And Sued For User Content: Sites which host copyright content uploaded by users can be blacklisted and blocked via ISPs, search engines and payment processors. This can be done without the benefit of a court hearing.
  3. Copyright Holders Can Sue Sites: Sites hosting copyrighted material uploaded unknowingly by users can be sued now and held accountable. Such sites have to comply within 5 days or risk total loss.
  4. Social Media Held Accountable: Social Media sites such as FaceBook will be held accountable for every copyright violation that their users commit. These sites will now be forced to proactively censor user content.…MORE….

Obviously, lots of folks have written about how SOPA can affect Internet marketers like you.  Some helpful resources include:

In a nutshell, the SOPA and PIPA internet bills would give the attorney general the ability to create a site blacklist to be blocked by service providers…all without a court hearing or trial.

Not good…not good indeed.

If you are making your living on the Internet, you owe it to yourself to get the facts about SOPA and how it might affect your future income.

And if you run WordPress, you can grab a SOPA WordPress Blackout plugin for 1/18/12 as well!  Learn more at Hate SOPA and want to join the Jan. 18 blackout? There’s a WordPress plugin for that

Methinks i'll be doing that meself. 

How 'bout you?

Grow strong,

Barbara Ling

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