New Study Shows Majority Of Americans Against SOPA; Believe Extreme Copyright Enforcement Is Unreasonable
from the so-why-are-we-pushing-forward-with-it? dept
56% of people surveyed oppose government involvement in blocking access to infringing material. This number increases to 64% when the term censor is used.Furthermore, when asked specifically if ISPs, social media sites and search engines should block access to infringing content if it also meant that some legal content would also get blocked (basically the definition of SOPA -- where even the defenders of the bill admit it will block some legal content), only 36% say that's an acceptable form of copyright enforcement.
In other words, a majority Americans are very opposed to the methods and impact of SOPA.
The study also found that, when compelling legal services are around, it can cause a massive decrease in the amount of content obtained through unauthorized means. This isn't a surprise. We've been pointing this out for a while now. And it again shows why SOPA is the exact wrong approach. Instead of actually decreasing infringement, it will increase the burdens and costs for the new businesses who provide those compelling new services.
- Only a slim majority of Americans (52%) support penalties for downloading copyrighted music and movies -- and limit this support to warnings and fines. Other penalties, such as bandwidth throttling and disconnection, receive much lower levels of support.
- Disconnection from the internet, in particular, is very unpopular, with only 16% in favor and 72% of Americans opposed.
- Among those who support fines, 75% support amounts under $100 per song or movie infringed -- hugely undershooting the current statutory penalties.
- For a majority of Americans (54%), due process in such matters requires a court -- not adjudication by private companies.
- Solid majorities of American internet users oppose copyright enforcement when it is perceived to intrude on personal rights and freedoms. 69% oppose monitoring of their internet activity for the purposes of enforcement. 57% oppose blocking or filtering by commercial intermediaries if those measures also block legal content or activity.
So why are so many in Congress so out of touch with the American public and so focused on passing a law that goes against the wishes of Americans? This is the question Congress should be answering at tomorrow's hearings. The report's author, Joe Karaganis, should be one of the witnesses testifying, rather than a bevy of industry representatives all trotting out unsubstantiated reasons for moving forward with SOPA.