President Obama Shoots Down Controversial SOPA Bill
In a strong and popular political move, President Barack Obama has stepped in to state that he refuses to support the controversial SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). This has led to a delay on the matter, with Congress seeking to revisit the issue in a month. They will have meetings with full awareness that the White House will veto anything that is not more narrowly focused.
Obama’s move has upset powerful executives in Hollywood and also the Entertainment Software Association. One of the biggest sponsors of the bill, the Motion Picture Association of America, is expected to regroup and attack the issue again very soon. Part of the reason that the Obama Administration stepped forward on the matter is because of the uproar that spread across the Internet this week. Several large websites blacked themselves out in protest, including Wikipedia, Reddit and other major sites. YourBlackWorld.com also blacked out to heighten awareness about the bill, being one of a small number of black news organizations to do so.
“The voice of the Internet community has been heard,” said California Congressman Darrell Issa. “Much more education for members of Congress about the workings of the Internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal.”
The threat has not ended with SOPA. Protect IP (the Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation Act) is another bill that goes before the Senate on January 24th. Both bills claim to combat online piracy by preventing major search engines like Google and Yahoo from linking to websites that have content that appears to be in violation of US copyright laws.
“Any provision covering Internet intermediaries such as online advertising networks, payment processors, or search engines must be transparent and designed to prevent overly broad private rights of action that could encourage unjustified litigation that could discourage startup businesses and innovative firms from growing,” said The White House. “We expect and encourage all private parties, including both content creators and Internet platform providers working together, to adopt voluntary measures and best practices to reduce online piracy.”