“If either the U.S. Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA) & the U.S. House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) become law, political blogs such as Red Mass Group [conservative] & Blue Mass Group [liberal] will cease to exist,”suggested a blogger from Red Mass Group.
SOPA is an anti-privacy bill which is aimed at enhancing previous legislation that sought to protect copyright holders from intellectual property infringement on the internet. The rise of user-generated media has made policing infringements more difficult.
However, bloggers argue that they will be under threat from the force of the criminal law if their blogs link to websites abroad that are involved in piracy. Google is an egregious example of a company seemingly affected by this proposed legislation. Google may be able to adjust their search engines accordingly, this censorship, conservative bloggers at RedState, have argued, threatens free expression.
At Firedoglake, David Dayden writes:
"Some good news on the SOPA front: Its corporate base of supporters is starting to crumble. GoDaddy is not alone. Scores of law firms are requesting their names be removed from the Judiciary Committee’s official list of SOPA supporters.”Hacktivist group, Anonymous, last week, announced their determination to protest the bill. They have warned of hacking and the imposition of dissent pages onto websites. They have also encouraged other internet users to make the anti-SOPA message "clear, unanimous and omnipresent."
Whilst opposition to the bill is strong, there are fears that the postponement of the vote on the bill will give time for lobbyists to take back the fight. Anonymous, in particular, warned that the postponement could be a tactic to allow media interest to weaken.
However, given the level of opposition, it is hard to see how the bill, in its current format, will make it through. “Suddenly, a bill with ‘widespread’ corporate support doesn’t have much support at all,” Dayden writes.
POLITICO Photo by : Rochelle Hartman