First, watch this video below about what SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is about. It is about 21 minutes but has a lot of good information. I was not that all interested in SOPA because I thought it was just about piracy sites. I was wrong. When I saw this video it put a lot of things into perspective. It even goes into advertising, social, and the full extent of the internet.
What is SOPA?
The bill would authorize the U.S. Department of Justice to seek court orders against websites outside U.S. jurisdiction accused of infringing on copyrights, or of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. After delivering a court order, the U.S. Attorney-General could require US-directed Internet service providers, ad networks, and payment processors to suspend doing business with sites found to infringe on federal criminal intellectual property laws. The Attorney-General could also bar search engines from displaying links to the sites.
It seems the government has to put their nose into everything. The biggest in our industry are the Affiliate Tax, FTC Guidelines, affiliate network government suits, etc. There has been a lot of government related issues that has happened in such a short time. Now SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act, is another one which affects the internet as a whole and not just advertising.
First and foremost search companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing will eventually start to filter search engine results. Full websites with credibility will start to disappear, news sites, comedy sites, gossip sites, etc will just be pulled off the internet. If there is any complaint about a company or brand – it can be added to the government blacklist.
Most importantly it will kill social media as we know it. If you use the Facebook “Like” it can lead into trouble. I know I leverage the “Like” button to hide content on my fan pages and even content sites. This will eventually be filtered as information about the user is being passed on to their users, ‘an endorsement’. You may remember a recent article where there was a lawsuit against Facebook about their new ad platform – Sponsored Stories. A user wanted compensation for a story he liked, because information was passed about him ‘representing’ a company.
When you tweet or share a link via the internet you are essentially given free advertising to a company or brand. If you shared a photo of the next dress you want to buy on Facebook that link can be filtered out. Your thoughts no longer matter, tweeting and status updates will not matter. The social internet will not matter, the government wants to control what you are saying on the internet.
That means no more bad reviews of a company or a product. Hmmm what TV do I want to buy… Samsung or ChinaView?
The internet will stop being social, when it was just evolving. Essentially the government is allowing the abortion of the internet. Cleaning the internet is going to be hard to police, but sites like Youtube and Facebook so far have done a great job and complied with a lot of the big brands, especially when it came to shows and music.
But what if everything started to disappear slowly? What will the internet be? What will it become? The internet was born out of the desire to know more information, then to be entertained, then to connect with everyone! SOPA will stop this intertwine of wires and will only allow you to see what the government wants you to see. If they do create a list of black listed sites, then internet entrepreneurs income can essentially drop dramatically. Creating sites base on recommendations, affiliate marketing itself will literally die.
The DMCA also then proves to be useless and pointless. If the government is going to tell Google what to show, then the purpose of relevant content to users or Google business model will be no more. Advertising will be strictly controlled and how we also advertised will also be written in a manual in which we have to cater to.
Essentially this act will harm the internet as a whole. The internet started as a way to voice one thoughts. It grew and became our entertainment playground, then it grew more allowing social interactions to be possible. If you like your current internet the way it is, educate yourself more about what SOPA is, look into PIPA (Protect IP Act) as well and voice your thoughts or sign the petition below.
Government always trying to get their hands in every cookie jar they can. Don’t Support SOPA! Sign the Petition!