What’s the Point of SOPA?
It seems the recent blackout of many popular web sites caused some SOPA/PIPA supporters to change their tune. We even had Senator Reed and Congressman Cicilline come out against the bills, after they’d previously been non-committal. Senator Whitehouse still supports the bill that he is sponsoring, but says he is willing to make changes.
I find it interesting that Senator Whitehouse submitted a bill that he now says he’s willing to make changes to. Why now? Is he sponsoring a bill that was hastily written and poorly thought out? It seems that he’s now admitting that. If Senator Whitehouse’s strong suit is in the area of law enforcement and this bill deals with enforcing the law, and he didn’t get this one right, then what exactly can we count on him to get right in Washington?
However, with that aside, is there even any need for SOPA/PIPA at all? The aim of those bills is to protect intellectual property from internet pirates by shutting down access to web sites that violate US copyright law. These bills have not passed yet, but the United States was involved with the shutdown of alleged copyright violator Megaupload.com on Thursday. The owner and at least some employees of the site were arrested in various locations around the world and many of their servers were shut down and millions of dollars confiscated.
It would almost seems as though someone saw the bills going down in flames and decided to show the bills’ opponents that the US can do just about any time it wants. If the US can already do this sort of thing without SOPA and PIPA having passed, what will they be able to do WITH those bills being law, or if it’s nothing additional, then what’s the point?