Firstly, a huge ‘Thank You!’ for coming and watching/ reading about this on our site! We’ve done our best to compile good resources and facts about SOPA and what it means for you. First things first, if you haven’t watched our video yet, watch it! It’s right up there. Come back here after you’ve watched it! Ok, great. Hope you enjoyed the video. Now on to some brass tacks. Let’s get serious for a moment and talk about the SOPA bill. The bill will be debated for mark- up come December 15, 2011 so there’s just enough time for each and every one of you to make a difference. Now, watch this quick video:
What is SOPA?
SOPA stands for The ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’. It’s a bill that was introduced by the United States House of Representatives. Basically, this bill gives the government and copyright holders a lot more power when it comes to their copyrighted materials. Too much power. And that’s why we must take a stand.
What does SOPA Do?
SOPA, in theory, would give the government, lawyers and copyright holders more power when it comes to removing their copyrighted goods from a site/ server that is pirating them. This sounds all fine and dandy, right? Punish those sites that give movies, music, and other copyrighted materials away for free. Well, in a perfect world this would all work out great, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Not to worry, the SOPA bill has accounted for that by being so broad and generalized that just about any claim, when worded convincingly, can be passed off as copyright infringement. This gives the government and copyright holders ridiculous amount of power over things they normally wouldn’t have power over. Take for instance an example where a mother is recording her child dancing to a copyrighted song. She then uploads that clip to YouTube so everyone can enjoy it. The copyright owner of that song is going to view that as him losing money because rather than you, the viewer of the clip, paying for that song and listing to it, you’re now getting to enjoy the song for free. Rather than using today’s practice where he contacts YouTube directly and requests that the video be removed, he bypasses YouTube all together and attacks their business ties (server host, domain registrar, etc) and/ or sues YouTube altogether. Ouch, right?
That’s part one of the overpowered bill. Part two has to do with DNS server settings. DNS. That’s a scary acronym, right? Well, here’s the quick and easy ;): Every server(website) you access (Like FaceBook’s, Google’s, etc) has an IP address. The IP address looks a little something like this: 66.45.xx.xx. Now, rather than having to type an IP address into the URL bar of your web-
browser, DNS servers allow you to type the URL(IE: facebook.com) itself. There are DNS servers all over the United States that basically, keep track of these records. So when you go to google.com your internet service provider queries the DNS server to find the IP and then routes you to that IP. Want an example? Click this: http://126.96.36.199/. Took you to google right? Ok, so you know how DNS records work right? No? Ok, let me try this from a different angle (that’s what she said). DNS records = Your contact list in your cell phone. Rather than having to type someone’s 10 digit cell phone number out every time you want to call them, you simply go into your contact list, find their name, and click it. Your phone then connects you to their number. That makes sense right? No? Well, if you still don’t understand, click here to be taken to a better explanation. Come back once you understand.
So now you understand how DNS servers work. How does the government plan to ruin everyone’s shit by messing with them, you ask? By removing the DNS records of websites that are deemed ‘rogue’. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re hosting pirated materials on the site, it just means that for whatever dumb- ass reason, the government says this website is not ‘ok’ to visit and so you, as a U.S. citizen of free mind and will, are not allowed to visit it. But what about the Constitution and the 1st amendment? This bill has little, to no regard for the Constitution and your rights. So basically, when the DNS records get removed, when you type in ‘google.com’ the DNS records are queried and no records for google.com are returned- BUT (ready for the kicker?) YOU CAN STILL TYPE IN THE IP ADDRESS OF THE SITE YOU WANT TO ACCESS AND IT WILL ALLOW YOU ACCESS. Basically, The U.S. Government does not have jurisdiction to shut down servers and websites in other countries so they’re going to try to make it where you just can’t access it. So yea, that plan will last for about 2 weeks until people realize how to get around it.
What YOU can do to help make sure SOPA doesn’t get passed:
There’s three things you can do There’s three things you need to do to make sure this abomination of a bill doesn’t make it through. Firstly, take 30 seconds and go here. This site has everything already put together and will allow you to email your state legislature letting them know that you don’t agree with whats going on. If we don’t let them know that we don’t want it, what’s their inhibition to passing it? Now, stop reading and go do that….. Great. Second thing you can do is SHARE. There are share buttons all over this very page that you’re on! Click them! Share them on Facebook, tweet them to your followers, like/ favorite this video on YouTube, email them to old people who don’t have social networking sites! Whatever you do, GET THE WORD OUT! We won’t make a difference unless enough people are becoming aware of what’s going on. And finally, the third thing, leave a comment below saying ‘I did it’. Not only will this show us who all we touched with this blog, but it will let others who haven’t done it yet, know that it’s ok to do.
Want to see an info-graphic about how much money the MPAA (Motion Picture Associations of America) is losing to piracy? Well I’m going to give you a link, but before I do I’d like you to make careful note of the dates that are below each ‘fact’. You’ll see that they span across multiple years from 2007 – 2011. The MPAA warps numbers beyond belief. They took the most extreme numbers from each year to help “prove” their point. Now, here’s that link I promised.
Here’s the just of it, summed up quite well by The Huffington post:
“Under current practice, copyright owners such as TV networks and Hollywood studios reach out to websites to request that pirated videos be taken down. Under the new regime, they could ask banks, Internet service providers and domain name registrars to stop doing business with websites that they believed were devoted to piracy. They could, for instance, go straight to YouTube’s domain registration company and demand that the entire YouTube website be taken down. And if the registrar resisted, the copyright owners would have the legal ability to take the registrar to court.” Source.
SOURCES(Click these to read more about S.O.A.P.):
And, lastly, use these share buttons down below! There’s a button for just about every social networking site out there! The more people that you make aware, the less of a chance that this bill has of getting passed!