If you've been browsing the web today – you've probably noticed that several sites are blacked out today in protest of a bill currently in the Senate called SOPA/PIPA. I don't generally write about politics on this blog — but SOPA/PIPA is very scary. The bill is designed to help the entertainment industry enforce copyright rules. As written, it has the power to cripple the Internet and destroy social media. In essence, SOPA/PIPA requires domain hosts to shut down websites that contain any copyrighted material and payment processors to withhold payment. This can be done at the word of the copyright holder with no further proof necessary.
Social media sites would be affected because they could be taken down for one user posting a single link to copyrighted material. Social media marketing would be effectively dead because there is no way that large sites like Facebook and Twitter would be able to police every single thing posted on their sites.
There are already mechanisms for enforcing copyright on the books. The Internet does make copyright violation easy — but in reality, seeing the copyrighted material usually makes people want to buy the product. And, software hackers can get around even SOPA/PIPA.
This video explains more about SOPA/PIPA and what you can do to help stop it.
The best way to make your voice heard is to write your Senator — you can do that here.