January 18, 2012

How SOPA & PIPA Acts affect non-americans

A lot of non-americans in touch with me, a lot of them Indians with
e-startups, are not really concerned about SOPA & PIPA. But I think
there are reason to be concerned about.
If you do not know, these acts are giving ISPs, the Government &
Domain Registars the power to pro-actively censor any website, not
just content, they deem as piracy with 'considerable evidence' or 'in
good faith'.
Sounds close to internet dictatorship?
1. The acts do not just cover US businesses & websites but also
foreign websites located on US servers (like this blog) as well as any
foreign website that has 'piracy content' from being accessed from
within the United States.
2. This is a deadly blow to user-generated content, crowdsourcing &
3. It gives dictator-ly powers to ISPs & domain Registrars.
4. Similar laws might be enacted in other countries on the same lines.
5. It 'awards' ISPs & Registrars that pro actively take action in good faith.
6. It has a clause to take down the whole website & not just the
acclaimed pirated content. i.e. If one piece of your content is
pirated, your whole site can be taken down & not just the 'pirated
7. It places the responsibility of action on the website. which in
simple words means, if you post some 'pirated content' on Facebook,
then Facebook not you, will be penalized.
Impact - Websites will discourage user-generated content as it is
impossible to check all user-generated content being generated on a
big website. This could also lead away investors & venture capitalists
from internet startups. So much, for the golden era of the internet.
All in all it could mark the beginning of the end of free & open
internet that we enjoy today.
Hope that helps clear why even Wikipedia blacked out today. Wikipedia
might become illegal under the acts & we will have to live without
Wikipedia if the acts are passed!

Best regards
Sambhav Karnawat
K.K. Exports
The Ruby King
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