The road to hell is paved with good intentions……. Our Congress – both parties – in an attempt to fix copyright issues, have come up with two pieces of extremely poorly written legislature – SOPA and PIPA. The legislature is worded so broadly it will shut down online businesses, bloggers, news sites, Pinterest, Etsy….. Not the intention of the law, but that is how badly it is written.
If someone in the comment section of a blog posts a piece of copyright material – the entire blog can be shut down. An innocent comment by an uninformed reader has the potential to shut down the entire blog. The potential for misuse to shut down any blog for malicious purpose is enormous. This same thing also affects Facebook, LinkIn, Tumblr, Twitter ……
For online businesses like Etsy – "… under SOPA, anyone who is a "holder of an intellectual property right harmed by the activities" of even one shop on Etsy, could hypothetically serve our technology partners (e.g. payment processors, hosting services) with a notice that would require them to suspend Etsy's service within 5 days. That means that a trademark violation in one shop could affect everyone’s business." – Etsy
Nothing like a common enemy to bring folks together – Google, Reddit, M C Hammer, Wiki, Pinterest, Etsy, Facebook ,Ebay, etc, etc , etc. They are working on getting the attention of Congress to stop these bills. Google had a blackout banner, Wiki is blacked out completely. Pinterest offers a link to petition and banners for your twitter account, Etsy has a good explanation here and are working with others to take action. That's just a small part of the web businesses taking action. The above sites have action you can take to help stop these bills from being passed.
SOPA has been temporarily put on hold until February. PIPA: " In recent days, [Senate Majority Leader] Reid has said he will go forward with next week’s vote." . Congress need to throw out these two bad bills and start over – this time working with people who understand the business of the internet.
1/20/12 Update: “In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act, ” – Senate Majority leader Reid. – This is a first step in the right direction. –