Another day, and another group of folks points out how SOPA/PIPA will cause problems. This time, it's a large group of folks involved in the production of educational content and services -- including folks associated with MIT's OpenCourseware project, the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Harvard, Stanford and many other places, pointing out that SOPA/PIPA threaten the innovation and adoption of technology in the education space:
Today, there are myriad sites that encourage lawful distribution, remixing and redistribution of educational
content (e.g. Curriki, Connexions, P2PU, YouTube, CK12). These services are democratizing access to
Of course, sometimes they are misused. Fortunately, today the Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe
harbors craft a careful balance -- a content owner would issue a DMCA takedown to remove the content,
but otherwise the platform is not held liable for alleged copyright infringement.
These bills would undermine this framework and chill the creation of educational content. Sites that host
or use user-generated content could be required to monitor their site for infringing material, and could
potentially have their domain name blocked by the government if content owners thought that
infringement was occurring on that site. This represents an entirely new legal power given to content
owners to control the flow of content online and to shape the very foundation of the Internet. Indeed, it
could lead to entire sites becoming unavailable due to the behavior of a tiny minority of confused or
Will Congress still ignore all of these complaints?