While this isn’t traditionally something we do at Nerd Age, SOPA is worth mentioning for everyone. It would mean that small sites like this would hold even less power in an era that already has mob rule by larger sites, corporations and their ill-informed fans.
What is SOPA?
SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act. In name, it sounds good. There are many legitimate gamers who want to pay for well developed games. Surely stopping the massive piracy of intellectual property is a good thing, right? Well it would be if that’s all the bill did. While it’s true that this may give companies more power to fight piracy, it gives anyone who is larger than anyone else more power to bully them. These include:
- The government and corporations will be given expanded powers to block sites.
- They can sue search engines to have links to sites removed.
- They can cut off funds to websites. They can effectively remove any monetary support to a site.
What will SOPA actually do?
Even mid-tier indie developers currently abuse their powers and fan base to punish anyone who doesn’t like their product. As far as large corporations or the government? Well it’s more than well documented how they treat those who disagree. With this new power anyone with connections or money will be able to virtually eliminate the competition from existence on the web.
What will SOPA do to the gaming industry?
Fair use in gaming will become a thing of the past, as will criticism towards anyone with connections. It will also create a brutal cycle of abuse of power. Larger companies will pick on mid size companies, who will pick on smaller developers. Many sites will simply vanish from the web, taking their people with them.
What will SOPA do to the anime industry?
If a fansub or manga site displeases a publisher, they can have it blocked and removed from search engines. A huge number of sites will simply vanish with no way to support themselves.
What can I do?
Please visit americancensorship.org and find out how to help. You can write Congress or at least try to spread the word. At the time of this writing you can watch some live streaming here: SOPA debates.