COHEN: SOPA is no apocalypse

The past few months have seen a flurry of political activity on campus. No, I’m not talking about the aldermanic election or the YPU’s debates. Rather, I’m talking about how Yale has been atwitter (get it? … Twitter!) about the impending DOOM and OPPRESSION of the Stop Online Piracy Act.

SOPA (really, they couldn’t have done better than SOPA? I’m pretty sure that means soup in Spanish) is a bill in the House of Representatives that would provide authority for the Justice Department to crack down on websites that illegally distribute copyrighted materials such as music, TV shows and movies through standard judicial procedure.

Make no mistake: online piracy is serious. According to a study commissioned by the AFL–CIO, online piracy costs the U.S. economy $12.5 billion in lost revenue, $2 billion in lost wages and around 70,000 jobs — annually. For any economy, but especially for one struggling through a shaky recovery, those are substantial losses. To give those numbers some gravity, this means layoffs for parents and working people. And for all those future Ricky Martins, it means making a living as a musician is harder than ever.

While SOPA, like every other piece of legislation, was not perfect in its original form, it has since been substantially amended and narrowed to address legitimate concerns over its once-broad language. But still, misinformation about the bill persists, meaning many people stand in opposition based on irrelevant concerns. The following are some common misconceptions about SOPA’s implications, should it pass.

A common complaint: “My Google searches won’t be open anymore — Google will have to censor what it shows!” Guess what? Your Google search isn’t truly open now. Major websites can manipulate Google’s algorithm to skew results. If you don’t believe me, try googling “Rick Santorum” and look at what happens — surely this is a skewed search result. Plus, the idea that Google is some free-speech deity is ridiculous: in China, Google censors its content to appease the Chinese government.

Another worry: “Wikipedia and Facebook can be shut down if someone posts copyrighted material!” Another whopper. SOPA specifically targets websites that are known to be “principally” or “substantially” dedicated to theft. Even if 1,000 editors on Wikipedia wrote articles using copyrighted material, Wikipedia would still not be considered a website principally devoted to copyright theft. SOPA would thus have absolutely nothing to do with Wikipedia.

What’s more, SOPA only applies to foreign websites, not websites that end in, for example, .com, .net, .org, or .gov. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I checked, but Wikipedia is in that group. So, while you are still not advised to cite Wikipedia for your final paper, you can still use it to find out who the heck David Ben Gurion was.

The last concern: “The Domain Name System blocking technique featured in SOPA threatens the very fabric of the Internet!” Are you kidding? That was removed from the bill last week. And anyway, DNS blocking is widespread and already in use. You know what it’s used for in the U.S.? To block child porn websites. In Germany, DNS blocks neo-Nazi websites. France uses it to block online gambling sites. If that’s the fabric of the Internet you use, my bad. But for the rest of us, I don’t think the Internet will implode.

Finally, what’s truly disappointing about the debacle that will likely end in SOPA’s death is that the bill’s critics have, in the name of promoting a free Internet, exploited the power that comes with that free Internet in the very worst way possible.

The Web should be an open forum safe from censorship and used to share ideas, products and experiences. But the misinformation spread by major websites like Wikipedia and Google undermines that very forum. They have used the name of an open Internet to spread false information.

The Internet has connected the world. It was crucial to the Arab Spring. The freedom it harbors promotes the very ideals of democracy that, as Americans, we treasure. Google, one of the biggest and most profitable corporations on Earth, has thrived because of that cyberfreedom. But is the Internet a free and open frontier if the most powerful websites abuse it to spread lies?

There are no enforceable laws yet that protect the work of musicians, writers and other artists online. You can’t smash a Tiffany’s window and steal a ring for your fiancée without repercussions. But, without the added enforcement enabled by SOPA, you can steal “My Heart Will Go On” to play at your wedding without being punished. Stealing is stealing, whether it’s on the street or online, and people deserve to be paid for their hard work.

If SOPA were passed, Google would still make money, musicians would finally be paid, the Internet would not collapse and the world would not come to an end.

Sam Cohen is a freshman in Calhoun College. Contact him at samson.cohen@yale.edu.

Comments

  • b00mslang

    theft
    noun ˈtheft
    Definition of THEFT
    1
    a : the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it b : an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property
    2
    obsolete : something stolen
    3
    : a stolen base in baseball

    Hmm, seems like the content Mafia has been working hard to redefine “theft” but it hasn’t caught up with Webster. Since nothing is removed, during copying, it is not, by definition “theft.”

    I can legally copy a Ferrari down to the last nut, bolt, and fiber. Own, drive it, I just can’t sell it. Ferraris are no less intellectual property than some crappy song filtered through auto-tune.

    I’m sorry, but I’m a furniture artist and, guess what, my work isn’t protected. You see, the big furniture companies lobbied many years ago to have furniture exempted from said protections. So, I have to enjoy the fruits of my labors until Pier-One Imports starts producing knock-offs. However, I have an endless imagination and I just produce “new art.”

    Wow, what a novel idea. Or maybe that was the original intent rather than copyrights being renewed in perpetuity.

    Now the SCOTUS has ruled that works in the public domain can be re-copyrighted. This is regressive and we are hence reverting to a medieval guild mentality.

    By the way, your statistics are antiquated and they’ve been debunked as nonsense. (Broken Window Fallacy) The US Government Accountability Office (gao) has already refuted your outdated propaganda in their 37 page report.

    The fantasy economics you cite wouldn’t materialize out of thin air. The public is already spending that money on other products (like food and clothing). They aren’t saving it. All of your wishful thinking would do is transfer funds from one (or multiple) industries to the IP industry. You’re not going to produce 70,000 new jobs out of thin air. There would just be a transfer of jobs from one sector to another. A net gain of zero. The money to spend is finite.

    The MPAA’s numbers claim that if piracy were curtailed that those currently downloading pirated copies of movies would purchase an additional 200 DVDs per year. Pure fantasy. This is nonsense and reminiscent of the Business Software Alliance’s old propaganda. They counted every download as a potential sale. Well, I doubt seriously that the 12 year old that downloaded the entire Oracle Suite (something like 30 or 40 CDs in 2,001), as bragging rights, would have been able to induce his parents to purchase it for $380,000.

    Lastly, I take issue with the likes of Chris Dodd moving out of politics and heading the MPAA for a cool $1.5M per year. You want us to feel sorry for the MPAA? Chris Dodd was the Senate Banking Committee chair during the greatest banking fiasco in this nation’s history. I think you should rethink your position on these issues before you drink the Koolaid.

    • River_Tam

      > I can legally copy a Ferrari down to the last nut, bolt, and fiber. Own, drive it, I just can’t sell it. Ferraris are no less intellectual property than some crappy song filtered through auto-tune.

      Hi. SOPA opponent here. Your argument is wrong and doing a disservice to people who are serious about both a free internet AND protecting intellectual property.

      Unlike a Ferrari, copying a digital song is free. It requires zero expenditure of time or energy, and zero knowledge of how to actually construct the good involved. Your analogy is more like me saying “I can record a song to sound exactly like Ke$ha’s Tik Tok”. Somehow, I don’t think record labels would be as concerned with this problem (although it’s still a problem for songwriters and composers).

      Home taping, home recording, physical piracy of books and art were all problems in the past. The advent of the digital age, however, made that process MUCH easier. VCRs produced analog (and thus imperfect) copies (I know, I still own some taped-from-tv VHS’s). Physically pirated books were bad photocopies. But digital music can create lossless copies. This has never been possible before!

      So no, your Ferrari analogy is pretty awful. Recreating a Ferrari costs time, money, advanced machinery and requires technical know-how. As a result it is rare and restricted to a small handful of people. Copying music is free, instantaneous, and so easy that my grandmother can do it. It is thus incredibly common and a serious problem.

      To top it off, I’m not even sure you’re right on the legality of that – I seem to recall Lucasfilm making someone dismantle their home-built AT-AT Walker… and Lucasfilm doesn’t even SELL AT-AT Walkers. (I wish they did).

  • HunterX

    I’d like to address a few points here:

    1. Piracy loses the US money.
    On the contrary, studies have shown that not only does piracy not significantly cut profits, it in fact increases the number of people who are likely to buy the product, having sampled it for free beforehand. http://torrentfreak.com/internet-piracy-boosts-anime-sales-study-concludes-110203/

    2. SOPA only targets sites dedicated to piracy.
    Technically this is true, but media corporations are known to have bypassed such requirements in the past. For example, the majority of Megaupload’s traffic was legal, but that didn’t stop the US government from shutting it down yesterday. Not to mention Universal issue repeated bogus takedowns against media that it has no ownership of, such as http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/universal-blasts-megaupload/ and other recent controversy that I can’t seem to find the links to at the moment, but it involved Universal using an automated takedown request system that took down a lot of legal content in the process.

    3. The DNS blocking section of SOPA has been removed.
    All that happened with the DNS blocking clause is that it was temporarily removed until ‘the effects can be fully assessed’. It’s quite possible that it will be put back in at some point in the future.

    4. SOPA doesn’t affect US sites.
    This one is technically true, though some supporters of SOPA within the government have used US-registered domains as examples of sites that SOPA would target, such as rapidshare.com which has even been declared legal in a court of law.

    I’m well aware that the internet does tend to exaggerate situations like this, but I can’t deny that there are still a number of problems with SOPA. That said, you are absolutely entitled to your own opinion in the matter, as am I and everyone else on both sides of the argument.

  • TheProtagonist

    Just going to throw some input here.
    Google searches are skewed to 1. follow the most recent webpages found on the topic.
    2. The most viewed websites about the topic

    Piracy does not make anyone lose money…it’s not like people consider “I won’t buy that DVD for $12.99. I will go and keep my money” over 200 times a year do the math then, 200 DVD’s per year for $12.99. $2,598 per year spent on DVD’s, now you also want to listen to music? Sure let’s add another thousand onto that. $3,598 per year spent on that. So you’re telling me in 1 month as a fire-fighter risking my life, working 48 hours a week… I still won’t be able to just buy my DVDs and music? Oh just because some person who pays some cheap song-writers and auto tunes his music wants his next few million dollars? Do you know how many people go to let’s say… the movies? It’s not like everyone waits to pirate things. Oh musicians, we go to their concerts, I don’t think we can pirate being there in person… that still costs us money and brings them revenue. So I don’t think that corporations and such are losing a lot of money.. and I know that the government isn’t losing at all because the money circulates back anyways. Taxes/Paying for food/clothes/necessities. Sure by the end of the year I’ll be able to buy 3 movies and 1 CD… wonderful. While I barely scrape by, this multi-millionaire will now be living in a larger mansion.

    I don’t support piracy, but I am also not against it. You want to “steal” (sharing) the information go for it. Theft would be something like me stealing the songs and selling them to people… thats what is illegal. I don’t think if I give a CD to my friend I can be arrested… can I? As long as someone is not exploiting the music/movies to their own profits. Consider “piracy” as a way of sharing between users, the will to explore and learn. Last time I checked sharing between people isn’t illegal… but who knows maybe SOPA will let us all know sharing and caring is bad and illegal! Hey while we’re on that part, we can just start introducing new bills where you can’t share between people, everyone has to be independent!

    SOPA may not effect everything we do on the internet, or what the average user does, but for people who like to log onto forums and crack a few jokes and such should really be allowed. Last thing I want to hear from people is “Don’t talk to my son that way” when I just insulted a 8 year old on the internet not knowingly because he faked his age. Well if the government worries about that, pin the parents not the internet. I don’t think I’m getting off topic because what SOPA will say is if you do say anything that is offensive or of the such you can be provided being guilty/removed from the websites and such. I think it should still be up to the administrators of the websites to decide what is right and wrong, and who to “ban” etc.

  • Frashizzle

    What social benefit does intellectual property provide in the cultural realm? Granted that most people aren’t illegally downloading deep trade secrets or cutting-edge research, what is the harm in it? Have we entered a cultural golden-age since the recognition of IP rights? I suggest not. If anything, we’ve become commercialized and stupefied to such an extent that we Must circumvent them to preserve our own culture.
    As for the jobs… if an industry can’t inherently protect its property, then it should collapse. Making an argument about jobs and commerce lost is like making an argument that we’re missing-out on jobs and commerce by not giving some company the right to own and sell air!

    • River_Tam

      >What social benefit does intellectual property provide in the cultural realm?

      SOPA opponent here. You’re an idiot. Intellectual property rights ensure that people have a right to what they create. It’s hardly a novel concept, and intellectual property rights have been around since the 1600s. Miguel Cervantes was famously bitter that someone stole the character of Don Quixote and wrote an unauthorized Part II. He devotes substantial space in his own Part II to taking obvious digs at the unauthorized “fanfic”. In 1701 Daniel Defoe (author of Robinson Crusoe) referred to people who copied his book as “pirates” and complained that this was a serious problem that was endangering his livelihood.

      So no. IP rights have been around since long before Napster. Learn your history before you make ignorant comments.

      > if an industry can’t inherently protect its property, then it should collapse.

      When did it become standard practice to expect companies, rather than the government, to enforce the law of the land?

  • indiefilmmaker

    Today’s piracy is a business. It’s driven by the desire to make money. Megaupload’s business model is reflected on cyberlocker sites around the globe.

    As an indie filmmaker I’ve spent the past year and half documenting my discoveries about the link between online piracy and profits. If you are at all curious about the subject and want to hear another perspective (not driven by Google talking points) my blog can be found here: http://popuppirates.com

    This fight against piracy is not just about “big” Hollywood (though Hollywood is a manufacturing system that depends on a worker bees behind the scenes to create their products). Indie artists, authors, musicians, filmmakers and more are impacted by online theft on a daily basis and don’t have deep pockets. Don’t believe the spin- Online piracy dilutes the legitimate market for our creative work.

    Also note that Google is leading the charge against legislative efforts to crackdown not for altruistic reasons, but because they earn a great deal of money via ads on pirate/counterfeit websites.

    Their recent agreement to pay half a billion dollar to the feds as a fine (as part of a non-prosecution agreement) for earning illegal profits on ads on illegal pharmacy sites demonstrates their willingness to put profit above the law. It’s ironic that so many progressive individuals follow them without questioning their corporate motivations.

    There is room for discussion on this issue, but we must realize that it cannot be framed in simple terms. You can read my blog to find out more about my perspective on this issue.

  • b00mslang

    So, this is your plug?

    And, you’re dead wrong, this fight IS about “big” Hollywood. They’re the ones spending the bread to purchase the votes in the legislature. You think they care about you? Hardly, as a matter of fact, they would use SOPA and PIPA as a vehicle by which to limit (or rather, eliminate) your ability to distribute your work product. Basically, they’ve controlled distribution for a hundred years and they intend to continue their antiquated business model at any cost. The movie and music industry has controlled every aspect of distribution including air-play. Are you really so naive that you would put that control back in their hands?

    You have a short memory and your moniker doesn’t fit you. There wouldn’t be any “indiefilmaker” if it weren’t for the free and open distribution of the internet and, “big” Hollywood doesn’t view you as a colleague and ally. They view you as competition that needs to be crushed. Once they’ve safely secured their total control on distribution (via censorship) they will finally put an end to this “indie” business once and for all.

    I would suggest that you read both bills and think about the illegitimate takedowns that have occurred under DMCA. This will make that look like a garden-party. Under these bills, they will merely make the accusation and your distribution will be kaput.

    “I’ve spent the past year and half documenting my discoveries about the link between online piracy and profits”

    So, are we to assume you’re a n00b and a sockpuppet?

  • anon12

    ‘Make no mistake: online piracy is serious. According to a study commissioned by the AFL–CIO, online piracy costs the U.S. economy $12.5 billion in lost revenue, $2 billion in lost wages and around 70,000 jobs — annually.’

    Did you even in good faith read this study before quoting it? Most obviously, the study includes losses from both physical and digital piracy. SOPA would do absolutely nothing to prevent physical piracy. (And, many would argue, effectively nothing to prevent digital piracy, but I’m not going to get into that).

    Further, the numbers used in the study to estimate levels of piracy were taken from a study entitled ‘2006 Global Recording Industry in Numbers’ which is published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The IFPI is ‘an international organization that represents the recording industry worldwide’. Think they might be a little biased? Unfortunately I cannot actually read their study as they have chosen to not make it freely open to the public, but to charge for access.

    Finally, the calculations of job and revenue loss used are entirely bogus. The paper uses a multiplier approach which they describe as: ‘Using multipliers, it is possible to measure not only the direct effects of piracy (i.e. the lost 1st round of output) but also the indirect eff ects (i.e. the lost 2nd and subsequent rounds of output) as piracy reduces the need for inputs from factor suppliers in other industries.’

    This analysis makes no sense applied to the situation of digital piracy. Standard industry multipliers are used. For the record industry these reflect job and revenue loss from decreased physical media production, distribution, retail, etc. However, even this biased study admits if instead of pirating digital media, consumers instead purchased the media, over 90% of them would purchase it in digital form. The production and distribution of digital media requires nearly no ‘inputs from factor suppliers in other industries.’ In fact, additional digital media sales reflect nearly pure profit for record companies. So, an increase in digital media sales due to a decrease in piracy would have not nearly the economic effect that this study estimates. It would simply represent a transfer of consumer expenditures from other industries to media production industries.

    If others would like to actually read this sham of a study the link is: http://www.ipi.org/ipi/IPIPublications.nsf/f726f4998ba46f86862567d80074727a/d95dcb90f513f7d78625733e005246fa?OpenDocument

    Talk about using the internet to spread false information…

  • anon12

    Also: ‘In Germany, DNS blocks neo-Nazi websites.’ How is this an argument? You use an example of a government doing something that in the U.S. would be a blatant violation of our right to free speech to somehow justify the use of DNS blocking. This is exactly why people are afraid of legislation like SOPA and the bad precedent is sets for legislation of the internet.

  • b00mslang

    Hear hear!

    Additionally, the fictitious numbers are further debunked here (not to mention hundreds of other sites):

    http://www.firstpost.com/tech/how-hollywood-is-inflating-piracy-figures-to-push-sopa-188035.html

    To quote a small portion:

    “As for employment, Hollywood loves to claim that it employs millions of people. One popular number is that 19 million people have jobs in “IP-intensive industries.” Of course, we’ve discussed how misleading a term that is, as they lump in all sorts of jobs that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with copyright. So, how many people are actually employed in the movie industry? Not that many. 374,000 in 2010 — and that includes both full and part time workers. And that’s really not much different from the 392,000 in 1998.”

    Now, if you read the numbers on Time Warner’s profits from licensing alone (billions) you’ll see that it’s not about employing all of what the industry refers to as “little people.”

    @ indiefilmaker; I’m sorry, they don’t even view you as one of the “little people.”

  • River_Tam

    > in China, Google censors its content to appease the Chinese government.

    It does not as of 2010, and prior to that it was the only search engine to explicitly inform the user that its results were censored.

  • River_Tam

    HEY GUYS! WE FOUND THE ONLY GUY WHO LIKES SOPA!

  • b00mslang

    It’s not the “law of the land” yet, bucko, and I don’t want my tax dollars going to pay for the criminalization of civil grievances. Additionally, I do not consider the likes of Lamar Smith to have the moral or legal authority to determine what I can and cannot view.

    I would have to say that since Time Warner is making around $4,000,000,000 on licensing alone (not employing too many peeps administering licenses) and the MPAA paying the likes of Chris Dodd $1,500,000 per year that their industry sure as hell doesn’t need my money to protect itself. I don’t ask you to pay my car insurance, security system, or security service. Why should I sit back and silently allow Chris Dodd to lobby for me to pay for the security of his antiquated business model.

    I’m sorry, but you’re out-numbered here, no matter how many sockpuppets you post as.

    • River_Tam

      It actually IS the law of the land that copyright infringement is unlawful.

  • b00mslang

    Additionally, your argument that the Ferrari analogy isn’t valid, because of the expense incurred to build one, is irrelevant and illogical. Your response analogy lacks cogency. Perhaps you should ask your mom to re-write it for you.

  • silliwin01

    ITT: Idiots try to justify stealing.

  • b00mslang

    Revisionists try to change the meaning of words to support their arguments.

  • silliwin01

    How complicated is this issue? Companies and artists create auditory and visual media in order to sell it for a profit (there is nothing inherently wrong in this). They own what they create, and don’t want people to enjoy it without some form of compensation for the time and money spent making it. Consequently, when people torrent a song or TV show, they are accessing the content in a way that the rightful owner does not want; that is, stealing a service. The value in entertainment is not the physical disk a song or movie is on, but the information that it carries. Thus, the older definition of theft pertaining to simply physical relocation of another human’s belongings is not appropriate here, and the word necessarily needs to be redefined to be less specific.

    You can debate the issues with the business model as much as you want, but arguing that piracy isn’t theft because it isn’t physically depriving them of access to their own material is delusional at best. File sharing and piracy consists of taking someone else’s property without their consent – in other words, stealing.

  • b00mslang

    That is nothing more than your opinion.

    The pro-copyright contingent, in this thread, appears to believe that if the rest of us do not support laws to stop piracy, at all costs, then we must advocate piracy.

    This debate is about limiting one right to protect another.

    Additionally, their rights (copyright) do not supersede my rights. That is, their rights should not be protected by eliminating or curtailing mine. Strictly speaking, so called “rights holders” do not have absolute “rights.” That is, their licensing or copyright of their work product is more a legal privilege rather than a right. It would hardly be in the same class as moral or natural rights.

    Hence, freedom of expression holds a higher position in the hierarchy. Ergo, it would be inappropriate to limit it in any way to protect a so called right that occupies a lower level on the food chain. Freedom of speech is a moral right, copyright is a legal artifice.

    We can debate it but copyright holders seem to feel that their rights are absolute and inalienable. Well maybe leftists like you should tell that to the property owner that has his land taken as a wet-land, or some other environmental excuse, without being compensated. Peeps like you whine that it’s okay because it’s for the “common good.” (Even though it violates the tenets of Eminent Domain.) So, your argument isn’t valid. The government seems to have the legal authority to take away LAND without compensation. They take away land without the property owners consent – in other words, stealing.

    • River_Tam

      From my point of view, the Jedi are evil.

  • silliwin01

    No, it’s not my opinion, but rather the only logical conclusion from the stated facts.File sharing constitutes taking something from someone without their consent. You know the platitudes about obfuscatory appellations; file sharing is theft.
    Also note that the right to property is considered a natural right, and shouldn’t be seen as lesser than freedom of speech. Right to life supersedes all, but the same argument cannot be made for expression compared to property.

  • VERTIGO7

    There are two primary problems with SOPA that are integral to the bill (as in, not something possible to write out of it, as it is a fundamental tenet of the legislation). The first and largest legal barrier, that should ensure a shoot-down from the Supreme Court were it ever to come before it, is that it violates the principle of “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”. Under SOPA, companies are allowed to not only sue a site, but to pre-emptively have it shut down BEFORE A TRIAL, WITHOUT GRANTING THE DEFENDANTS THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES BEFORE A PUNISHMENT IS PUT IN PLACE. That is caps-locked because of how crucial it is, not to display anger, merely an emphasis on the primary point. This cannot be written around, as it is the primary prosecution piece of the legislation, and without it SOPA would be no more effective than current enforcement. Another major problem is the notion of Fair Usage. Take, for example, a book review critic. If Harry Potter is copyrighted, then it could be a problem to be unable to post his very name on your blog for fear of a take-down. This leads into my next point: The Chilling Effect. Ever heard of Minecraft? Its kind of a big deal. It was named one of TIME’s top 50 inventions of the year. However, this revolutionary game, along with many other innovations, would never have seen the light of day if not for sites like Reddit (as stated by Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of Minecraft himself) where posters spread the word of this game like wildfire. However, if SOPA had been in place, the chilling effect would have kept people in fear of telling others about it, for fear of being sued and even sent to jail. There are many other examples like this, such as revolutionary scientific and medical studies that have spread from the internet. This effect would hinder progress and innovation both globally and here in America, which we cannot afford. Furthermore, notice how I mentioned how people would be afraid to speak? This effectively would harm freedom of speech on the internet through the chilling effect. I am not claiming like many other frothing-at-the-mouth opponents that it would destroy Freedom of Speech; simply that it would harm it, as people would live in fear of a very, VERY vague definition of what is legal for them to say or not, and most people would be unwilling to risk posting about Minecraft or Harry Potter or other such things if they have the threat of having their life ruined for talking about the brilliance of something or other. I am merely opposed to the repercussions of this bill, as it violates the constitution on both Innocent Until Proven Guilty and, in a more indirect manner, freedom of speech. It would also hinder progress and the spread of ideas on the internet, one of its primary purposes. Thank you for reading. For any thoughtful opponents of SOPA, please use the argument of Innocent Until Proven Guilty, as it is a decent one, and certainly not said enough in these debates.

  • VERTIGO7

    Also, may I point out that I don’t support piracy. However, I am opposed to the unintended repercussions of SOPA. Also, I understand piracy costs a lot of money (even though his numbers are bogus, as pointed out by boomslang, with this article as back-up, http://www.firstpost.com/tech/how-hollywood-is-inflating-piracy-figures-to-push-sopa-188035.html); however, we cannot justify violating prime tenets of our constitution and our justice system to please Hollywood.

  • 81

    Santorum’s google problem is *not* a skewed search result.
    When you search santorum, the first result is a page about something called santorum. This is how google is supposed to work. It’s the result of a deliberate campaign to redefine the word, sure, but this is not websites messing with Google’s algorithm.