The Strike Against SOPA

"Maybe you'll love me when I fade to black"
 - Jay-Z

As this site is dressed in all black and some of you might wonder "hey, where did those annoying bubbles go?!?!" the Internets is fighting to protect what is there's - freedom. Congress seems to be on a roll with their idiocy of ending online piracy by completely ignoring everything that made the Internet great in the first place.

How can something so generic be so tightening on the lungs of the Web?

We featured the Free Justin Bieber campaign recently, but Congress doesn't seem to get it. I understand, though, as I've been part of the movement to help bring together the colliding worlds of entertainment blogging and bloodthirsty lawmakers. Seeing the various interaction, runarounds, and other slippery slopes of being a watchdog makes me realize that the term evolution (at least when it comes to harmonizing and balancing the two aforementioned worlds) is an understatement.

That's why this site is in its all-black-everything phase.

Basically, the government is enforcing that every website polices third party links from everywhere that includes anything regarding all forms of copyright infringment. That was not a sarcastic statement. Due to generic terms used in the bill, S. 968, that is the way it must be examined. Well, at least to avoid catching a flippin' felony!

Here's the Skippy on why SOPA has a dangerous capability of screwing over everything the Internet stands for:

1. Like mentioned about S. 978 (the Commercial Felony Streaming Act) earlier, the incidentals and accidentals will be entirely too vulnerable. If So And So wants to post her favorite song on Facebook because it explains the complex status she posted earlier about being "the baddest btich" (or however the misspelling goes), then she is liable to shut all of Facebook down. Yes, because the site allowed her to post content that enables pirate sharing, all of Facebook is liable to be shut down. Under SOPA's blanket-covering/suffocating definition, sites like YouTube, Facebook, Gmail, Dropbox, Soundcloud, and a big ass etc are sites dedicated to "theft of U.S. property." The thing is that any site with a comment box or upload form of any sort - whether the site complies with the DCMA or not - has the potential to be punished for infringement.

2. Any countering on infringement becomes far more difficult than previous copyright laws. For example, if an artist sends me a direct song they want "leaked," and the attorney general finds out then my ass is grass. Alone. In the bill, there is no clear statement of how they go about notifying the artist or their label - let alone whether or not the government has to! The responsibility is placed in my hands to get in touch with an already nearly untouchable party to send a counter-notice stating that I am allowed to "leak" the track... or picture... or video (just to make sure you understand what all's at stake here). After five days of the site being shut down, if no counter-notice is issued, guess who's going to jail?!

3. Still this term "FELONY" puts an awful strain on an already economically struggling field(s). Here's an explanation from Mashable's Opinion page of how quickly casual whoopsies become three years in prison:

Section 201(b)(1) expands criminal copyright infringement to include:
"At least 10 copies or phonorecords, or of at least 10 public performances by means of digital transmission, of 1 or more copyrighted works, during any 180-day period, which have a total retail value of more than $2,500."Now, the way that the value of a work can be computed in court is the very crude (value of the work times number of views).
"Total retail value may be shown by evidence of the total retail price that persons receiving the reproductions, distributions, or public performances constituting the offense would have paid to receive such reproductions, distributions, or public performances lawfully."This means, for example, if you upload a video to YouTube of you singing a popular song, and that song might sell for $1, and your video gets 2,500 views, you are guilty of felony copyright infringement. Furthermore, you can tack on “willful infringement for commercial gain or valued at more than $1,000.”
This would make you a felon, and if a copyright holder were to bring a suit against you, would give you a criminal record that would make it virtually impossible to fain future employment, and may subject you to up to three years in prison for singing a song. You don’t have to receive any money. You don’t have to gain anything from your video. Simply receiving 2,500 views on a song you sung, which happens to have copyright held by someone else, makes you a felon.
 4. This isn't just happening to folks in the U.S., this is for EVERYONE. The power has been put in the attorney general's hands to fully censor - from shutting down the site to cutting the site off from AdSense to cutting the site off from Paypal - any site that isn't even in the jurisdiction of the U.S. Folks first think of WikiLeaks, but what about other sites? Let's not forget about entertainment sites like SoulCulture, Daily Mail, Every Day A Great Song, etc that could be shut down for good. Not only that it's just shut down in their country, but worldwide (they don't call it that for nothing)!

If SOPA passes, then we'll be out here looking like China. Flat out. Big Brother's monitoring will just grow more and more brolick, brolick to the point where any slight instance of opposition is silenced - whether it be opposition of government policy or opposition of society's choice of entertainment.

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