SOPA – A serious threat to our internet


If you are not yet aware of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) then you should be. This abominable piece of legislation has the potential to effectively cripple the internet and pretty much render it impotent. Wikipedia: SOPA

SOPA has been universally condemned, there are literally thousands of protests registered all over the net – one respected source had this to say:

SOPA will do irreparable damage to the Internet and by now, everyone realizes that it directly threatens everything that represents online freedom. The media industry is using SOPA as a weapon to create a clout of censorship. There is too much wrong with this bill, people the world over are trying to undo this damage and have written petitions and letters to the government.

The driving force behind SOPA is, of course, the U.S. entertainment and media industry. Apparently the billions of dollars revenue generated annually by the industry is not enough to satisfy their needs.

SOPA initially evolved from noble intentions but typically takes the parameters to a ridiculous level of regulation.  If it actually becomes law, SOPA has the potential to take down an entire website for just one infringement – even if published via reader comments. This has massive implications for the thousands of sites which encourage and utilize user-generated content – think social sites, blogs, forums, etc.

In their present form, the terms of SOPA are so far reaching and all-encompassing as to pose a distinct threat to the very existence of the internet itself. Thankfully there is plenty of opposition to SOPA, and from some powerful sources; Mozilla, Facebook, Google and many others have joined the fray. And because of the Global implications posed by SOPA, protests are being registered on a worldwide basis. The European Union has now also added its voice, with the EU parliament issuing a warning to the U.S. emphasizing “the need to protect the integrity of the global internet and freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names.”


In a very recent development, the group of international hackers known collectively as ‘Anonymous’ has declared Operation Blackout against SOPA. The exact nature of the group’s threatened protest is unknown at this stage but it can be reasonably assumed they will employ their usual brand of disruptive “hacktivism”.

Let us hope that sanity prevails and this deplorable piece of legislation ends up where it belongs…in the garbage!

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

7 Comments

  1. I agree wholeheartedly, Jim. The recording and movie industries have got to stop!

    Better yet? The legislators need to stop allowing their agendas to be guided by the massive amounts of money the recording and movie industry donate to their campaigns!

  2. It is strange we’ve lasted so long. Not in any order, but, when the tape recorder and VHS machines made their debut, people were able to record information from radio and TV sources, even though each show and station said it was not allowed. There was talk of banning the tapes, but TAXES on them generated revenue, so they were allowed.

    Books and magazines are not to be copied (unless permission is granted …..), but correct me if I’m wrong, in each library, you’ll find a photo copy machine. Odd eh?

    Unlike other medias, the electronic is the easiest to clone (not copy), since there is no longer just one original. It’s a replicating nightmare.

    I’m aware that pirating electronic media is costing those in the business a financial loss and something needs to be done. Not sure how or what, but a blanket ban is not the solution. This is something any sane individual knows, but we know there are insane individuals out there, Mindblower!

  3. What a huge gap there is between the US government, bent on destroying the freedom to do anything except for corporations to rack up huge profits, and the ordinary people, who still understand on what their nation was based and who truly care for their freedom and that of others. Laws such as this cut right across the Constitution, a model for all nations to follow, and also across the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19.

  4. The Federal government means well, but this is not the answer. I agree there is a problem out there and readily admit I don’t know a solution. This seems to be pretty much overkill. Politicians are somewhat noted for doing some really dumb things at times and I feel this may be one of those times. If politicians would listen more to the average “voter” and less to the “biggest donater of funds” Im sure that a viable solution to this problem could be found that would be agreeable to all parties concerned.

  5. The best solution to this is to take the INDUSTRY out of entertainment and stop worrying about copyrights altogether.

  6. SOPA is ridiculous. The industry makes enough money as it is. Have you gone to the movies lately? You have to practically take out a loan to go same as going to a concert. Yeah they have lost money but you have got to be kidding me if they say they are not living like they used to. This will never pass way to much backlash on it will happen