SOPA Is Not About Copyright, It's About Regulating The Internet
from the let's-be-honest dept
Nancy Scola, over at Salon, has an excellent article about SOPA, which notes that it really is not a copyright bill at all, but about trying to regulate the internet:
Congress, the political press and lobbyists for the entertainment industries like to frame this fight as one between giants. In one corner, the MPAA, RIAA and others decrying the ?lawlessness? of the Internet and in the other, Google, Facebook and other big tech firms defending their business. But SOPA isn?t just about corporate battles. For all the the rhetoric, this isn?t even really about copyright. This is about the Internet ? and more to the point, the infrastructure and operations of the Internet that make the Internet the Internet. SOPA targets search engines, Internet service providers, ad networks and payment networks precisely because those components are so central to the functioning of the Internet. Those are digital forces that should be messed with only with the greatest of care.
She also notes that being against this bill doesn’t mean being against copyright (as some SOPA defenders like to smear anyone who complains about the bill):
When it comes to talking about SOPA, it is important to remember this: You can think that ?intellectual property? infringement (not only of movies and music, but knockoff Nikes sold online) is bad for the American economy and still think the legislation is a disaster. Not only would the bill likely do little to address the problem of online content fraud and counterfeiting, but it takes aim at the core features of the Internet that have contributed a great deal to the American economy.
Just because a bill in Congress claims it’s going to do something doesn’t mean it will. It’s unfortunate that while some people are focused on debating the actual impact of the bill, many simply insist that what’s on the label is what’s in the can. That’s clearly not the case with SOPA. The bill is designed to do much more, and it would represent a massive change to the way the internet functions.