Could Facebook Shut Down? Understanding SOPA and PIPA


If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our video explaining what SOPA and PIPA are and why you should care about these bills:

Pass the video on to all of your friends so we can fight SOPA/PIPA together! Even if you aren’t from the United States, these potential laws affect you; they affect every Internet user.

Please head to http://www.blogworld.com/SOPA to find out more about how you can join the fight against SOPA/PIPA and join us on Twitter this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 at 9 PM EST for #bwechat, where we’ll be talking about these bills and what they mean to you.

Please tell us how to reach you and we will notify you as soon as registration opens
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About Allison Boyer

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Wow that is scary….thank you for bring it to light. I will contact my Representative’s as I have conversations with them all the time.

  2. JessicaGottlieb says:

    I am really proud of the work @blogworld did on this video. Thanks for having me participate. http://t.co/akt9cUZr #SOPA

    • blogworldexpo says:

      @JessicaGottlieb We really appreciate your taking the time out to help us Jessica. Thank you so much! #SOPA

  3. ferodynamics says:

    This video has it backwards. SOPA is all about protecting original content producers from thieves who run content farms. If the thieves are shut down, content producers benefit in a big way. It’s clear the Google Panda update didn’t stop the thieves–in many cases actually helped the thieves. And it’s clear Silicon Valley is happy with the status quo and nobody has found a way to stop content theft. Yes the opponents of SOPA want the easy investment money to build more copycat aggregation sites, yes this is about money. Your money or Silicon Valley’s money? At least Google pays its publishers and content producers–that’s more than you can say for most of Silicon Valley. Why are you protecting Facebook–what have they done for you? Facebook is minting millionaires, cashing in on YOUR content–and you don’t get one red cent of that money! Don’t be fooled. SOPA is not about shutting YOU down, because no corporation cares what you had for lunch, or cares about your $1000/month blog hobby. This is a battle of the titans. I’m convinced most content producers would benefit immensely from SOPA, simply because content theft is so rampant–it happens all day long on autopilot–any effort at all would be a big improvement. At least SOPA is an attempt to do something to stop the theft. Also I would argue most of the people in this video have no idea how a DNS server works or how a web server works, so really do they have any idea what they’re talking about?

    • ifworkman says:

      @ferodynamics Wait, what? I think you missed how this could affect you, the small business owner. You host cloud WordPress sites, correct? Say one of your hosting posts a still frame from a well known movie and throws a caption on it. It’s his quote and it’s cute, right? Say it gets attention and someone from the entertainment industry notices that it’s from one of their movies. A representative organization could make a move to force domestic ISPs, (without notifying you or your client until far later) including the domain registrar, to drop their DNS records — Just for a single copyright image.http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.3261: 102.c2Ai – …”A service provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers … including measures designed to prevent the domain name … from resolving to that domain name’s Internet Protocol address.” Since you’re familiar with how DNS works, you’re also probably familiar with Gilmore’s Law, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” — Ultimately the people who are really damaged are the legitimate users. In fact, there’s a browser plugin (MAFIAAfire) that does just that for sites that are hosted abroad but DNS blocked domestically. Effectively rendering the bill ineffective for true piracy users, and at best inconveniencing legitimate users. Then have to deal with the liability of the content. Not only is your client in trouble, but so are you for hosting the infringing content. Have a look at the sentencing guidelines under Section 204. The one you, as a hosting provider, gets to worry about is its reference to “section 1831 of title 18, United States Code” referencing “Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods or Services” where violators can face multiple charges up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a $2 million dollar fine. It caps out at $5,000,000 and/or 20 years for multiple offenses. And good luck if you’re operating by yourself without the protection of a personhood of a corporation to soften the blow. Your business may take a hit or fold, but you should be able to lick your wounds and move on. See where this gets ridiculous? I’m totally with you on the “If everyone’s for it, there must be something wrong with it” bit. I was quiet on this issues until I formed a mostly complete and educated opinion on the matter. SOPA and PIPA are bad news even if it was well-intentioned.

      • ferodynamics says:

        @ifworkman@ferodynamics I’m not worried about SOPA. Even if SOPA turns out to be a nightmare and the interpretation is blown way out of proportion, at the end of the day the legit sites out there with original content will see more traffic and more $. If SOPA passes I’ll review each of my images one by one–with delight. If sites start dropping like flys, seems like we would have a renaissance. Independent thought and originality (this sounds like you) would be rewarded. Big changes means big opportunity.

        • @ferodynamics Just as an FYI: Under a law like this, it wouldn’t matter if you have original content. If someone comments on your site with, for example, a song lyrics or spammy links to a download site, YOUR entire site can be taken down.

          You can also be unfairly blocked just because it LOOKS like your site includes copyright infringement. For example, if you quote a source or use pictures for review purpose (which is considered fair use and is typically necessary for a good review), a company can CLAIM copyright infringement, and you can be blocked. If you’re an influencial blogger and write a bad review of something, you can bet that the company will come after you. Someone makes the call on whether your site gets blocked or not, without any kind of trial, and you’re done unless you have the money to take the case to court.

          And a lot of innocent sites would be punished. Anyone running on a free site (Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr, etc) will be blocked if ANY OTHER USER posts unoriginal content. I got my start on free sites when I was a poor high school student – I think most bloggers started that way, using free platforms. I don’t think it’s fair to squash opportunities for new bloggers. If we truly want the best content online, everyone needs the change to have a voice.

          Beyond that, even if social networks survive, payment processing sites, like PayPal, and ad networks most certainly would not, making it extremely difficult to make money through selling products, ad space, etc.

          And beyond THAT, these laws also can require email service providers to go through your emails and remove any link that looks “infringing.” It’s a huge breach of privacy in my opinion.

          There are so many intricacies to these bills. The wording is way too vague – and it is MEANT to be that way. That’s what corporations want, so that if it becomes law, they can take advantage of the loopholes.

          No one here is arguing that you shouldn’t write original content. Pirating is bad, and I’m personally in favor of stronger laws to make it harder for people to steal your work. But SOPA and PIPA aren’t about pirating. It’s a censorship law wrapped in a pretty pirating package. There are no big opportunities here, even for original, high-quality bloggers.

        • ferodynamics says:

          @allison_boyer@ferodynamics Another good reason to moderate all of your comments–which is something I already do.

        • @ferodynamics Comment moderation will not save your site if these bills become laws. Even if you close down comments on your site completely, you’re ignoring all the other points I made, and that have been made by other people, including @ifworkman and those in the video. The SOPA and PIPA protests have nothing to do with quality content versus unoriginal content. This is about the ambiguous wording that makes it possible for the government to censor any site they want without a trial.

        • @allison_boyer@ferodynamics@ifworkman One thing to note is that moderating all of your comments actually makes you more liable for what is posted on your site. But let’s say a comment does get posted that is suspect of copyright, SOPA would still be able to shut down WordPress if you used their system, or something like Livefyre which would affect anyone else using the comment system. The key problem with this bill is that it is way too broad and isn’t really solving the root problem.

        • @allison_boyer@ferodynamics@ifworkman One thing to note is that moderating all of your comments actually makes you more liable for what is posted on your site. But let’s say a comment does get posted that is suspect of copyright, SOPA would still be able to shut down WordPress if you used their system, or something like Livefyre which would affect anyone else using the comment system. The key problem with this bill is that it is way too broad and isn’t really solving the root problem.

        • deleted_2753807_ferodynamics says:

          @jennalanger@allison_boyer@ifworkman The WordPress.com business model IS the problem. For whatever reason Matt Mullenweg commandeered the Internet inside his WordPress.com content farm, where he’s the absentee sheriff of 30 MILLION people. He knows people are cheap and lazy, they won’t register a domain unless you force them to. Matt seems like a nice guy, nonetheless WordPress.com is straight up ad-supported content farming and really has no serious purpose or agenda beyond that. OK he likes jazz music and taking pictures of his food, but WordPress.com, since you mentioned it, is not a jazz blog or a blog about food or even a blog about free speech. SOPA solves two problems here: 1. It makes the WordPress.com “multi site” content farming scheme less appealing–just because it’s an easy path to lots of cash doesn’t make it a good idea. 2. Takes the activities of 30 MILLION potential law-breakers off Matt’s shoulders–nobody appointed Matt Mullenweg (or Mark Zuckerberg) sheriff of the Internet. It’s time to get those 30 million people registering a domain to take responsibility for their own actions. The reality is the Internet doesn’t need a Facebook.com or WordPress.com, think of them as gigantic Internet zits that need to be popped–these people should cough up the $5-$10 to register a domain name, rather than cower behind their make-believe sheriff. Really they are slaves cowering behind their slave masters, afraid of freedom, unaware of the opportunity waiting for them once they can profit from their own labor.

        • blogworld says:

          @jennalanger@allison_boyer@ferodynamics@ifworkman Great comment Jenna! Thanks for adding that.

        • blogworld says:

          @ferodynamics@jennalanger@allison_boyer@ifworkman You make some really great points fero, but leave all the other problems about the web, content farms and online piracy aside. I think we all agree those issues need to be fixed.

          I think most of us are just arguing these particular bills are extremely flawed. They will not fix the problems you are pointing out and will hurt the internet that we all love and depend on.

    • blogworld says:

      @ferodynamics First off I agree with you about the stated intent of SOPA. All legitimate content creators want to stop piracy. Even those bloggers with a $1,000 a month hobby. However this legislation doesn’t do that as it is written. It allows someone to file a complaint and shut down any website without any proof or due process simply by claiming it violated someone’s copyright.

      It was written by big media lobbyists and pushed in congress by people who have no idea what they are talking about. They brag about their ignorance of the technology.

      SOPA and PIPA as written will kill the internet as we know it and do nothing to stop real pirates. It will be the little guys and the big guys of the web out of business and give a monopoly back to the big Hollywood and New York media companies.

      If you don’t think big media cares about those hobbyist bloggers you are sorely mistaken. Ever head the term “death by a thousand cuts”? For big media this is death by millions of cuts. It does effect their bottom line.

      • @blogworld@ferodynamics Big Hollywood and the NY media companies? At least they pay people. Do you pay your bloggers for their content?

        • blogworld says:

          @lynnh@ferodynamics Yes our staff bloggers are paid. Our event and this site is meant to help bloggers get paid. SOPA will harm people who earn their living creating content on the internet.

        • @blogworld@ferodynamics Your staff bloggers are paid, but you host lots of content by unpaid bloggers, no? Sorry, I’ve been blogging way too long for free…I guess I should have found blogworld sooner.

        • blogworld says:

          @lynnh@ferodynamics Yes we run “guest posts” from people who are not paid. Every single one of them does get paid creating content on the internet either directly on their own sites or indirectly.

        • @blogworld@ferodynamics Every one of them gets paid how? Clearly I’ve been doing it wrong.

        • @lynnh@blogworld Check out out monetization category, lynnh. I earn a full time living as a blogger (and live in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.). In addition to working part time with BlogWorld, I also have other clients who have hired me as a blogger and I make money from my own blogs. There’s no reason to blog for free if you don’t want to.

        • blogworld says:

          @lynnh@ferodynamics all sorts of ways. Bloggers make money via advertising with adnetworks like Adsense, Technorati, BlogHer, Federated Media, Izea or affiliate programs and networks like Shareasale, Linkshare and Commission Junction, or with direct sponsorship and advertising sales they do themselves, or with premium content, the good old fashioned tip jar, their own private products via sites like Cafepress and Etsy and dozens of other ways. People even sell their blogs like Huffington Post, TechCrunch, ARSTechnica and thousands of other examples.

          Ever notice those commercials on YouTube when you watch a video? If you have enough views you can become a content partner with YouTube and you get paid a percentage of the revenue from those ads. There are lots of people who make a living creating content on YouTube.

          Podcasters make money via a pay per download model, subscriptions and advertising insertion.

          Then of course there are people who blog to raise awareness for some other product or service that they sell. In the last two years nearly two dozen bloggers attending our show parlayed their blogging success into a book deal. Including our Community Manager Deb who just wrote the book “Community Management for Dummies”.

          There are lots of other ways to monetize your content Lynn. Like I said earlier, that is exactly what our event and this blog is all about; helping digital content creators better create, distribute and monetize their content.

          That is why we have focused so much on SOPA and PIPA. They will damage our community.

          All that said, not every blogger or podcaster will make money. Just like not ever one who picks up a guitar makes a living as a rockstar. The beautiful part is you can try and fail or succeed on your own effort and merit.

        • @blogworld@ferodynamics I make about $150/year running BlogHer ads and about $150/mo writing freelance. And I’m considered quite successful in my niche. I’m sure you’d agree that the vast majority of bloggers and those providing content on YouTube don’t make a living from it. And they certainly don’t get any healthcare benefits or paid vacation time. You know, those little perks that the evil media companies provide when you work for them. This gets dicey because you have no idea of the quality of my writing or content, and it puts me in a position of sounding like a jackass who thinks way too highly of themselves. Having said that, I’m an excellent writer and quite confident that I could have made a living from it if I was just born a little earlier.

        • blogworld says:

          @lynnh@ferodynamics Why don’t you ping me offline Lynn. Maybe we can point you in the right direction to help you make more $.

          rick at blogworld expo dot com.

          To your point. I agree most bloggers don’t make money. Neither do most guitar players. The truth is more people make a living writing, broadcasting informing and entertaining their audience than ever before in history.

          All forms of new media have made it better for content creators not worse. No doubt there are former journalists who are out of work. Lots who get paid less. I would argue many of those formerly highly paid writers sucked at their job and are to blame for failing to keep up with their industry.

          There are also tons who made the transition to the new media world and make more than they ever did and finally get to create the content they wanted to create vs. what someone else told them to do.

          Om Malik would be one great example of a traditional journalist who is more successful financially and happier today than he ever was writing for big media companies.

      • deleted_2753807_ferodynamics says:

        @blogworld These laws already exist, don’t be surprised when they’re actually enforced – http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92appvii.html

        “Copyright Law of the United States of America.” Hey I particularly like this part, as we know blog scrapers are so dumb they even scrape copyright notices:

        “Fraudulent Copyright Notice. — Any person who, with fraudulent intent, places on any article a notice of copyright or words of the same purport that such person knows to be false, or who, with fraudulent intent, publicly distributes or imports for public distribution any article bearing such notice or words that such person knows to be false, shall be fined not more than $2,500.”

  4. JarrodLeach says:

    wow “ferodynamics” sure is a f**king troll… the problem with SOPA is that it does not draw provisions for due process for sites that are accused of violations. the so-called “titans” (whose collective dicks you apparently have in your mouth) can shut down any little guy when they feel like it, and they won’t be held accountable for making false claims. that gives them all the fucking power to censor anything the government doesn’t want you to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    •  @JarrodLeach ferodynamics is absolutely not a troll, and I agree with everything he has said. Too much people are getting paranoid nowadays, and think that “they are informed” because anyone compiling a bunch of absurdities and make it a threat, and then ignorant sheeps who would say that everything is about “annunaki-masons-Luciferian-N.W.O-zionist” oh give me a break. so now, to go back to the subject : here it is people complaining about their own freedom to the detriment of the artists. Do artists have to work non stop for free in order to satisfy your little world? Hacking is the citizen freedom, are you pulling my leg there?

  5. _JamieMay says:

    @Taiweezie save the Internet!!!!!

  6. EligioAwiizotl says:

    @allison_boyer @TheBloggess @AndreaVahl @JimSterling ? http://t.co/BzwwKLAu

  7. Passing this legislation could be the worst thing that would ever happen in the economic industry. Just imagine how business would be affected with this bills!

    • @DUI lawyer That’s a really good point that we didn’t even touch in our video – this would be HORRIBLE for the American economy and, in turn, the world economy.

      •  @allison_boyer No. Because before the Internet becomes popular,  successful people were doing it just fine. There were less pretenders in the market, and look at today : nothing is sacred anymore, because wannabes with their cyber identity and their mass production leading to nowhere. I just see everything in a real life point of view.  Stop being a paranoid because this gives your little cyber world more importance. I am an artist, and I absolutely refuse that internet leeches take artists work for free… Nut but, think for a minute please.

  8. chriscducker says:

    @blogworld Thanks for the opportunity to be involved in such an important video, Rick. Hope all is good, bud…

    • @chriscducker you are welcome Chris 8). Alli did all the work. Thank you for being a part. life is good. work is great 8). and you?

      • chriscducker says:

        @blogworld I hear ya, she did a great job. Everything is good… Lots on the go, and a speaking gig in Thailand in 10 days – Life is grand!

  9. clareyknppu2 says:
  10. AustinHoffman says:

    This is just terrible….SOPA is the equivalent of curing a headache with a guillotine. It may stop piracy, but it would shut down our economy and unconstitutionally erode our most basic freedoms in the process.

    I just hope that everyone realizes how important this is and does their part to save the internet & our economy! …here is another good video that explains the consequences of SOPA pretty well:

    http://www.peeje.com/peeje-goes-strike-stop-web-censorship-bills-congress-209/

    1,000s of more websites have joined the force and went dark today, we need EVERYONES help!!!!

  11. LVSocialMedia says:

    @blogworld thanks! That’s why I had to ask because I knew I must have missed it! #PIPA #SOPA

  12. ifworkman says:

    TED released a new talk by Clay Shirky about an hour ago explaining SOPA/PIPA – http://www.ted.com/talks/defend_our_freedom_to_share_or_why_sopa_is_a_bad_idea.html

  13. MikeStewart1 says:

    The music industry should be made to give back all the money it has made on Justin Beiber, because without You Tube, Twitter, Blogging, the kid would still be in Canada singing on the street. How come his millions of views on You Tube that sell his iTunes downloads don’t upset them. oh that’s ok. This is about what they (Media corps) can’t control, they try to destroy, what they did to Napster was the start and inexcusable, and here they come again with SOPA and PIPA and surprise, authored by “paid for” puppet officials.

    I used to be proud to be a composer, musician and American. This saddens me so much.