GoDaddy faced a huge backlash for supporting SOPA. In a PR stunt, they released a press release saying they no longer supported SOPA, only to still be on the official list of supporters. Then they finally came out against SOPA, but it was already too late. I’m not going to quote any number, but people definitely left GoDaddy in mass for their support of SOPA.
The Stop Online Piracy Act is a terrible piece of legislation that was written by lobbyists who support the content industries with no help from the technology sector. A co-sponsor of the bill Mel Watts (D-NC), was pretty blatant in saying, “I’m not a nerd,” while babbling about how he is not an expert and that the experts were wrong. The sponsors of the bill have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, but they still want to pass the bill.
With nearly EVERY big Internet player that your grandmother has heard of coming out against SOPA, they may have a trick up their sleeves to be sure everyone is aware of how serious of a threat this is to their very existence, let alone our Freedom of Speech. Apparently, the NetCoalition (who include Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, and Yahoo) are considering a day of protest. While it is not clear if the companies themselves have agreed to a blackout day, it does have the ability bring some serious punch to the fight against SOPA.
I’m not so sure any of these companies would really shut down their entire sites for a day, it is certainly possible that they will have messaging throughout their sites that explain what SOPA is, whyitis bad, and what you can do to speak out against it. As a Search Marketer, it will definitely be interesting to see how this plays out. Word has it that the black out day would be set for January 23, a day before Congress is set to reconvene on the issue.
I am fairly certain the majority of my friends have not heard of either of these two pieces of legislation that will allow for the censorship of the Internet. Right now, there are two bills. One in the Senate called the Protect IP Act and one in the House of Representatives called the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Both were created without any advice from the technology sector. I would hope you’ve heard of the DCMA or Digital Copyright Millennium Act. This law was passed WITH the help of both the content industry and the tech industry. This bill extends copyright law while limiting the liability of the Internet providers and other technology companies. In short, it basically puts the liability on the individual who infringes copyright. This bill passed unanimously because all sides of the equation took part in drafting this legislation. Without this landmark bill, the Internet would not be what it is today.
This video explains it pretty well:
With these two new bills, if I download a song illegally and post a link to it on Facebook and my website, not only would I be liable, my Internet provider, Facebook, and search engines like Google would be held liable. To prevent being held liable, the ISP’s, Google, Facebook, and just about every other tech company would have to censor every form of electronic communication to limit their liability. These EXACT freedoms we have in the United States allowed for the Arab Spring and just about every other protest and demonstration in the past decade. The exact tools that democracy activists use all over the world where the Internet is censored would be blocked in the United States. Many of these tools would be completely unavailable.
The Internet is great because it is not censored. If the United States starts censoring the Internet, what will become of it? The United States captures more than 30% of global Internet revenues and more than 40% of net income1. For every one job lost, the Internet creates 2 more2. What will become of the millions of jobs it has created? What will become of technology? All the great tech companies you know would not exist today if these laws were in place when they were just a start up. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, eBay, and LinkedIn all oppose these two bills.
If you are in the Search Marketing Industry and participating in Movember, please fill out this form to send me the link to your mospace. I am going to publish a list of those in our industry who are participating and keep it updated. Fill out the form below: