As some of you might be aware, US Congress are deciding whether to pass bills that could damage the face of the Internet as we see it today.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act have been designed to allow media giants (such as the music, film, tv and creative industries) to have the powers to block and filter access to websites that might contain copyrighted material regardless of which country they are located in.
Although this is a US based law, it would have a great effect on the global way in which the internet works. Many websites (such as Google, Reddit, YouTube and Facebook) are US based, and any changes they would make due to these laws would affect everyone.[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDX8Lyl16Qs” title=”anti-SOPA%20and%20Protect%20IP%20Video” border=”1″]
For example: You like to record videos of yourself singing along to well known songs, and then post them on YouTube. Although you live in the United Kingdom, YouTube is a US based service, with large amounts of US visitors that would be able to see your content.
If the song you had chosen happens to be copyrighted, YouTube would instantly filter and remove your content from their website.
Another example: You have a blog (maybe on Tumblr), in which you like to link to movie trailers, for which you write reviews. You also post photos of the stars, reviewing their performance.
Because you’re blog links to potentially copyright breeching material, Tumblr would have no chose but to remove your blog posts, and most likely close your account.
Just for one post, by one user, these sites could be shut down, fined, and even banned from being accessed from within the US.
The bill, in it’s current state, intends to break technologies such as DNS, which is used every time you type an address of a website in to your computer. The US Government would have the power to redirect users away from sites that containing potentially copyrighted material, by breaking the DNS system and falsifying DNS records.
Although my Blog’s audience is mainly UK based, this US bill will still very much affect the way in which everyone around the world uses the internet.
I intend to block access to my website, following the likes of Reddit and many others, in order to raise awareness and stop the passing of this life changing bill.
On January 18th from 8am–8pm EST (1300–0100 UTC), my website, along with many others will be inaccessible. Instead, I will show a page informing you about these dangerous and destroying changes.