I would like to talk a moment to talk about a very important issue on behalf of myself and Zettabyte Systems, LLC.
Right now there is a bill before congress called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The principle purpose of this bill is to protect the intellectual properties of companies in the entertainment industry, that produce media in the form of films, television shows, music, and video games. In the event that this bill passes in congress, it will have some very serious ramifications for the future of the Internet, as we currently know it.
In theory the protection of intellectual properties, or IP, is a good thing. Zettabyte is in agreement that the intellectual properties of major labels like Fox, Universal, or NBC should be protected. There are thousands of people active every day in the industry to produce products for consumers that deserve to get paid for their hard work. It is a disservice for them not to have some measure of security and promise by the government to protect their work from being distributed in a manner that denies them what they have earned.
However, this bill is not the way.
If SOPA is passed it will grant unfair censorship powers to the United States government that could fundamentally alter the structure of the Internet as we know it today. Single instances of copyright violation could be used as rationale to perform unreasonable shut-downs of any site that government sees fit. Simple things like a Youtube video featuring an unlicensed clip of a song owned by a major record label, or the use of forum avatars featuring copyrighted material could be used as sufficient evidence of pirate activity. This is not protecting the rights of artists, this is simple censorship of creativity.
Companies and websites like Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter have all made statements condemning SOPA. In fact, nearly every major company in the tech industry has expressed opposition to the bill as it stands.
To learn more about SOPA, and exactly what it is I encourage you to visit this link:
You can read the SOPA bill in it’s entirety here:
Congress has postponed voting on SOPA until early 2012. There is still time to make a difference. You can read about the upcoming vote here:
Zettabyte Systems officially opposes SOPA.