A lot has already been said about the Stop Online Protection Act, shortened to SOPA because acronyms are easier to remember when you have the attention span of a weevil. Jim Sterling, acerbic and opinionated as he is, pointed out some very real fears about the legislation. Bob Chipman chimed in as well, and as Congress continues to deliberate on this poorly-worded bill, tech-savvy bloggers like myself are being called upon to make their voices heard.
I know I said on my various social media outlets I’d ratchet back the politics, but this is crucially important not just from a political standpoint, but also for the very livelihoods of some of my favorite entertainment and people I consider colleagues if not friends. So here’s where I stand on it.
This bill should not pass.
If it did, and I decided to stream some League of Legends for a charity event, Riot Games could have me arrested for it. I would go to jail for a felony. I’d be sharing cell space with a rapist or murderer because I wanted to help sick kids by playing a video game.
Now, this is a bit of an extreme example, but none of the others are all that much better. Entire websites can get shut down. People’s careers can come to an abrupt end. Services like Twitch.tv would no longer be viable. The Internet as we know it would change forever.
I hope you see why this is a bad idea. And yes, I know I’m saying things that have already been said before, by more talented and/or popular Internet pundits. But the more of us that say these things, the better our chances of killing this bill before it grows to a level that tramples all over.
To learn more about this bill and how you can help stop it dead in its tracks, please visit this site.