The continued outrage for SOPA was only fueled when protesters saw multiple companies not only complying with the bill but actually listing their support for it. These companies are not thinking about how devastating this act will be if it passes, they are not sympathetic to the fact that this act will enable the government and other private parties the ability to bypass the due process and effectively decimate any site accused of copyright infringement. SOPA will forever change how you use the Internet and it will have lasting effects. Fortunately a lot of important companies are against SOPA: AOL, eBay(+PayPal), Facebook, Google, GoDaddy, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Reddit, Torrentfreak, Tumblr, Twitter, TechCrunch, ESET, 4chan, HostGator, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Kaspersky, Craiglist and The Huffington Post.
So what is SOPA exactly?
SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act and it is aimed at all copyright infringement materials that are distributed online. This pertains to videos, software, knockoff purses, fake sports jerseys, and much more.
While the idea behind stopping online piracy is noble, the SOPA act goes far beyond any reasonable means in an attempt to stop it out with force. Instead of simply targeting the sites that distribute this material, other sites that are accused of online piracy would have basically no way to fight against it, additionally just linking to sites that provide pirated materials could mean severe repercussions for innocent sites.
Find out more about the Stop Online Piracy Act and why it’s considered unjust censorship here.
So who is supporting SOPA?
SOPA was originally proposed by Lamar Smith (the Texas Rep.) and 12 other co-sponsors however the real supporters are the companies that are rallying behind this Act. There is an extensive list of 142 companies and organizations that publicly support the act. Find the full list here.
What are people doing to protest SOPA?
One company in particular has suddenly tried to reverse their standing on the list of SOPA supporters. GoDaddy, the popular online domain company, was hit hard after they allowed the United States government to illegally seize a multitude of domains. Their customers, rightfully fearing for their livelihood, have begun en masse to switch to more reliable domain companies. GoDaddy has lost thousands of customers due to their actions and are even resorting to desperate calls to try and get them back (of course apologizing for their actions while doing so). In the Christmas Eve, GoDaddy decided to change their position and now they are against SOPA, so this means GoDaddy boycott worked.
Unfortunately not every company supporting SOPA is being hit as hard as GoDaddy. Find out below what you can do to help.
So what can you do?
Standing up against something you oppose is essential. Don’t fall under the mindset that “my voice won’t make a difference” or “there are thousands of others doing it so I won’t bother” – strength through unity is the only way oppressive acts such as SOPA can be turned down.
First, should you want to protest SOPA and make a difference, boycott the companies who support it and LET THEM KNOW! Call in, write a letter, email them, or voice your opinion to them in any way you see fit. Additionally, you should let your local representative know your opinions. Contacting your local reps is likely to have more of an affect since they will actively be voting on the Act.