We’re following the showdown in Congress between big lobbying groups. The MPAA (and others) are putting their heft behind a bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). On the other side is a coalition of Internet companies that has been rallying against the bill.
New York Magazine says that this is an old-school Washington lobbying fight. From the article:
Really, SOPA is just an old-fashioned Washington battle between two entrenched corporate camps: the entertainment companies that don’t want their output ripped off, and the web companies that don’t want to be saddled with increased compliance costs.
SOPA would also expand the definition of copyright infringement to include hosting a single link to a site that is alleged to contain infringing material. Thus, if an author’s blog, or a book discussion group, attracts a single post that contains a single link that goes to a site that someone accuses of copyright infringement, that site becomes one with the alleged infringer, and faces all the same sanctions—without any proof required, or due process.