I heard about SOPA almost a year ago. Since then I had dismissed thoughts about this new Policy. But it’s 2weeks before the United States government votes for or against this bill.
Let me explain what this is in lay man’s term. SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act. It is an act that allows corporate organizations shut down unauthorized sites where videos, music or files could be downloaded from. Well, you may think this won’t affect you if you don’t download series, games or movies but this law covers even the lifting off of content or links from websites without obtaining permission.
Now, how does this affect you or me? Most of the growth in developing countries, Nigeria included have been through the help of the internet. Not just the internet but access to loads of resources online. The access to these resources will in the future be extremely limited if this law takes effect.
In fact, websites like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter can be shut down if a user breaks any of the guidelines. They could even sue search engines for indexing sites that have download links to ‘unauthorized’ resources. You and I know that most of the sites where you download things like stock images, scripts, tutorials also have content that may be tagged as suspicious. For the mere fact that these websites have the illegal stuff, the whole site could be shut down.
It will also cripple new start ups because it allows companies sue websites that are not doing their filtering well enough.
To fully understand what is going on, you can watch this video below.[vimeo vimeo.com/31100268]