Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
SOPA would put completely legitimate sites, like End the Lie and countless other alternative news outlets at risk of being shut down, along with literally any site that freely allows users to post content.That includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, Craigslist, Dropbox and literally any website or service that allows users to upload content.
The United States Attorney General can not only seek court orders against “foreign infringing sites,” meaning any website with a non-U.S. domain name, but can also demand that internet service providers (ISPs) would have to cut off access to the site by not resolving domain name requests.
Furthermore, if served with one of the Attorney General’s court orders, search engines would have to remove any links to the site, payment networks would have to stop all payments to the site from U.S. customers and advertising networks would be forced to stop serving advertisements about the website or for the website.
But wait, it gets even worse.
SOPA would require that within five days of receiving an allegation by a copyright holder, payment services and advertising networks would have to cut off all business with the site either U.S. based or foreign.
All the copyright holder has to do is allege that the site is “dedicated to the theft of property,” and if the payment provider and advertising networks don’t cease business within five days, the copyright holder can file a private lawsuit against the site compelling the payment service and others to cut off relations.
Furthermore, The Atlantic reports that the definition of “dedicated” in this bill “has little relation to common usage,” and in addressing the bill they characterize it as “dangerous.”
As experts in the technical, operational, academic and research communities who are the leading domain name system (DNS) designers, operators, and researchers who have also published numerous peer-reviewed academic studies regarding the architecture and security of the DNS have pointed out (PDF), this will create major cybersecurity and other technical concerns that did not exist previously.
The above-linked technical whitepaper regarding the PROTECT IP Act also quite interestingly points out that the DNS filters could be easily circumvented, essentially making one of the biggest parts of the bill null and void.
The thing that the House and Senate don’t seem to realize is that there will always be online pirates and they will always find a way around whatever roadblocks are put in their way.
The issue is that this can and likely will be used to target important platforms for sharing information like YouTube and blog platforms like WordPress and Blogger.
All it would take is for a copyright holder to find one bit of infringing content and then it could very well be the end of the website, despite the massive amounts of legitimate content.
We must remember that major websites like YouTube and blog platforms are quite skilled and hasty when it comes to removing infringing content from their websites.
SOPA would also endanger the entire spirit of the internet which has pioneered social media and free expression, giving a platform to writers like myself who might otherwise be sidelined by the establishment media.
If you care about the internet, free speech and the future of sharing information with the world, I beg of you: take action and boycott the companies below and make it clear why you will be boycotting them. And tell everyone you know to do the same.
Please do not forget to contact your Congressperson and Senator to ask if they are supporting either bill and tell them why you think it would be a horrible idea for them to do so.
Hopefully we, as the collective users of the internet, can create a large enough buzz to shut down these bills before they get major support.
The following are companies that signed this letter which was written in support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, which is the House’s equivalent of the PROTECT IP Act, which I have previously exposed as China-style internet censorship on steroids.
I encourage everyone to not only boycott these companies but flood them with letters, e-mails and phone calls telling them why exactly you are boycotting them.
If “We the People” still have any power in this country, we need to flex it now when it really matters!
1-800 Contacts, Inc.
ABRO Industries, Inc.
Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed)
Allen Russell Photograph
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
Alliance of Visual Artists (AVA)
Altria Client Services
American Apparel and Footwear Association
American Association of Independent Music (A2IM)
American Board of Internal Medicine
American Federation of Musicians
American Gramaphone LLC
American Made Alliance
American Mental Health Counselors Association
American Photographic Artists
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
American Society of Media Photographers
American Society of Picture Professionals
American Watch Association
Anatoly Pronin Photography
Andrea Rugg Photography
Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Initiative (ACAPI)
Applied DNA Sciences
Art Holeman Photography
Association of American Publishers (AAP)
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP)
Association of Test Publishers
Australian Medical Council
Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association
Baker & Taylor Ent.
Bay State Psychological Associates
Beam Global Spirits & Wine
Blue Sky Studios, Inc.
Braasch Biotech LLC
Brian Stevenson Photography
Brigid Collins Family Support Center
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
C. F. Martin & Co., Inc.
Callaway Golf Company
Cascade Designs Incorporated
Center for Credentialing & Education
Center Stage Photography
Christopher Semmes Photography
Church Music Publishers Association
Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP)
Columbia Sportswear Company
Commercial Photo Design
Commercial Photographers International
Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System
Consumer Healthcare Products Association
Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)
Council of Fashion Designers of America
Country Music Association
D’Addario & Company, Inc.
Dan Sherwood Photography
Danita Delimont Stock Photography
Dayco Products, LLC
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group
Derek DiLuzio Photography
Direct Selling Association (DSA)
Distefano Enterprises Inc.
Doriguzzi Photographic Artistry
Dolby Laboratories, Inc.
Dolce & Gabbana USA, INC.
Dollar General Corporation
Don Grall Photography
Dunford Architectural Photography
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Ed McDonald Photography
Educational & Industrial Testing Service
Electronic Arts, Inc.
Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA)
Eli Lilly and Company
Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
Eric Meola Studio Inc
Evidence Photographers International Council
FAME Publishing Co., LLC.
FAME Recording Studios
Far Bank Enterprises
Fashion Business Incorporated
Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
Fender Musical Instrument Company
Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA)
Ford Motor Company
Fortune Brands, Inc.
Fred J. Lord Photography
Gelderland Productions, L.L.C.
Gibson Guitar Corp.
Gospel Music Association
Governors America Corp.
Graduate Management Admission Council
Graphic Artists Guild
Greeting Card Association (GCA)
Greg Nikas Photography
H.S. Marketing & Design, Inc.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Harry Fox Agency
Hastings Entertainment, Inc.
ICM Distributing Company, Inc.
IEC Electronics corp.
Imaging Supplies Coalition (ISC)
Independent Distributors of Electronics Association (IDEA)
International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC)
International Trademark Association (INTA)
IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries
Ira Montgomery Photography
J.S. Grove Photography
James Drug Inc.
Jean Poland Photography
Jeff Stevensen Photography
John Fulton Photography
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
Juicy Couture, Inc
Julien McRoberts Photography
Kekepana International Services
Kenneth Garrett, photographer for National Geographic
Killing Jar Productions LLC
Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
Lexmark International, Inc.
Linda Olsen Photography
Little Dog Records
Liz Claiborne, Inc
Lucky Brand Jeans
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Major League Baseball
Marcia Andberg Associates LLC
Mark Niederman Photography
McLain Photography Inc
Merck & Co., Inc.
Messy Face Designs, Inc.
Michael Stern Photography
MicroRam Electronics, Inc.
Minter Works of Art
Monster Cable Products, Inc.
Morningstar Films LLC
Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA)
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
MPA – The Association of Magazine Media
Mr. Theodor Feibel (sole proprietor)
Music Managers Forum-U.S.
Nashville Songwriters Association International
Natalie Neckyfarow Actor/Dancer/Singer
National Association of Broadcasters
National Association of Manufacturers
National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM)
National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO)
National Basketball Association (NBA)
National Board for Certified Counselors
National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
National Football League (NFL)
National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA)
National Retail Federation (NRF)
Nervous Tattoo Inc., dba Ed Hardy
New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
New Era Cap Co Inc
New Levels Ent. Co. LLC
Next Decade Entertainment, Inc.
NHL Enterprises, L.P.
Nicholas Petrucci, Artist, LLC
Nintendo of America Inc.
Nissle Fine Art Photography
North Dakota Pharmacists Association
North Dakota Pharmacy Service Corporation
One Voice Recordings
OpSec Security, Inc.
Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)
Outdoor Research, Inc
Pacific Component Xchange, Inc.
Party Killer Films LLC
Pearson Clinical Assessment
Peavey Electronics Corporation
Perry Ellis International
Personal Care Products Council
Peter C. Brandt, Architectural and Fine Art Photography
Peter Hawkins Photography, Inc.
PGA of America
Philip Morris International
Photojournalist Dave Bartruff
Picture Archive Council of America (PACA)
Production Music Association (PMA)
Professional Photographers of America
Quality Float Works, Inc.
Raging Waters Music
Ralph Lauren Corporation
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Red4 Music/Doogs Rock Inc
Red Wing Shoe Company
Reebok International Ltd.
Reed Elsevier Inc.
Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)
Richard Flutie Photography
Robin Davis Photography, Inc.
Rodger Scott Craig, a member of Liverpool Express, The Merseybeats, Fortune, Harlan
Cage, 101 South, and Mtunz Media
Roger Smith Photography Services
Rolex Watch USA Inc.
Romance Writers of America (RWA)
Rosetta Stone Inc.
Sage Studios LLC
Sam D’Amico Photography
Sean McGinty Photography
Secret Sea Visions (Photography)
SG Industries, Inc.
SIGMA Assessment Systems
Six Degrees Records
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Society of Sport & Event Photographers
Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Soul Appeal Records and Music
Southern Gothic LLC
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)
SPI (The Plastics Industry Trade Association)
Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association
Sports Rights Owners Coalition
Spring Fever Productions LLC
Spyder Active Sports, Inc
Stephen Dantzig Photography
Stock Artist Alliance
Stuart Weitzman Holdings, LLC
Student Photographic Society
SunRise Solar Inc.
Taylor Glenn Photographs
Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.
The Cambridge Don
The Collegiate Licensing Company/IMG College
The Donath Group, Inc.
The Dow Chemical Company
The Estee Lauder Companies
The McGraw-Hill Companies
The Music People! Inc.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
The Recording Academy (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences)
The Timberland Company
The Walt Disney Company
Tiffany & Co.
Time Warner Inc.
Tony Bullard Photography
Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc.
Trio Productions, Inc. / Songscape Music,
Twist & Shout, Inc.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Universal Music Group
Uniweld Products Inc.
Vibram USA, Inc
Virtual Chip Exchange USA, Inc.
Voltage Pictures, LLC
W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co.
Walcott Studio, LLC
Warner Music Group
Wendy Kaveney Photography
Western Psychological Services
Westmorland Images, LLC
Wild & Associates, Inc.
Wild Eye Photos LLC
William Sutton Photography
WindLegends Ink LLC
Winslow Research Institute
Wolverine World Wide, Inc.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Zippo Manufacturing Company
Zumba Fitness, LLC