America’s proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), if passed, has massive ramifications. Any website deemed to be hosting copyrighted material stands the chance of having access to its domain name blocked. That means a whole slew of mashups, fan tributes and unauthorised remixes would disappear from the internet forever.
Sites that depend on online advertising could also have their revenue completely cut off, as the act would empower the Attorney General to ban them from using online payment facilities such as PayPal and Visa.
Despite fact that the law is American, its jurisdiction does not stop at US borders. Court orders will be given to those outside of American jurisdiction who infringe American copyrights. This means foreign websites will be just as vulnerable as those established on the act’s home soil.
Online insurance quote provider Business Insurance Quotes has put together an infographic detailing the timeline, concerns, major players, and activist organisations around the act.
Interestingly, large tech players sit on both sides of the fence when it comes to SOPA. Those for the act, include Microsoft, Dell, AVG, and Sony. Microsoft has a vested interest in shutting down any pirate sources of its software, as does online security firm AVG. Sony meanwhile, owns substantial property in the music and entertainment spheres, two industries that have a long history of opposing internet piracy.
Those opposing the act, meanwhile, all have products that stand a chance of being adversely affected by the act. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo! have multimedia offerings and partnerships. Should any of these infringe on the proposed edicts of SOPA, some of the web’s biggest names stand the chance of losing out big time.