How To Fight SOPA

Legal scenarios about how to protect intellectual property from copyright infringement or misuse have been popular for over a decade. Recent legislation proposed as SOPA or Stop Online Privacy Act is threatening to put out the fire of free speech on the Internet. The actual piece of legislation, known as House Bill 3261, is setting up for a heated debate about enacting federal censorship online.

What SOPA Plans to Do

The language crafted in the original bill is not clear as to what websites will be affected or excluded should the new legislation pass a senate vote and become signed into law by presidential power. SOPA is trying hard to stop the illegal sharing of pirated intellectual property around the world. The legislators that have helped to draft and introduce the bill claim that U.S. entrepreneurs and Internet-based companies are losing revenue due to illegal activities conducted with the help of foreign websites that exist on the Internet.

The most debated SOPA inclusions are:

• Judges can shut down websites by court order

• Judges can prohibit electronic payment processing for blocked websites

• Judges can order search engines to block search results

• Prevent Google Adsense from paying revenue to blocked websites

It should be noted that any website ending in .com, .net or .org will not be affected by SOPA. The current legislation is attacking foreign websites that host U.S. intellectual property, but it is feared future U.S. legislation will follow. Senate Bill 968, which is a rewritten version of SOPA legislation, is a new threat recently introduced.

How SOPA Affects Internet Marketers

Creating niche websites that rely on downloads, blog posts, forums and other forms of user interaction can be affected by the passage of SOPA. Any person can make a claim about infringement that could affect websites that you own or control. Posting content to social media websites like Facebook, Tumblr and Delicious could be perceived as infringement if you have no way to verify the original ownership of the content. It is natural to share links and copy information from sources online to use in your marketing efforts. A judicial order could take down your website and cause penalties, fines and prison time for any offender.

Sharing video links, uploading videos and offering videos for download are included in SOPA legislation. Intellectual property pertains to written content, images and videos that are shared, purchased or given away. Popular websites that you use could be gone with the passage of the legislation. The entire social networking community could be changed forever. The severity of the implications of SOPA has caused uproar and many companies oppose the legislation.

How You Can Fight SOPA

People working together and expressing a voice of concern can make things happen. The freedoms under our constitution give every U.S. citizen the right to freedom of speech. People working together and expressing a voice of concern can make things happen. The freedoms under our constitution give every U.S. citizen the right to freedom of speech. Nonprofit website,, has created the “Save the Internet” campaign. The website has setup an online petition that will be taken directly to the legislators of SOPA with the first name, last name and email address of Internet users that oppose the legislation. You can sign the petition and show your support in the fight to prevent SOPA from taking away your online free speech rights.

Sign the Save the Internet Petition.

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