The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act) is a bill that would allow copyright holders to shut down websites that facilitate or enable online piracy. Opponents of the bill believe that it grants too much power to copyright holders and ostensibly allows them to censor the internet. Personally I think it’s an overreaching bill that was thrown together reactively and is being heavily lobbied by the music and film industries in another attempt to stuff their pockets by suing teenagers and grandmas. Earlier this month: a judge in Spain ruled that piracy can lead to more sales; Japan believes Anime piracy helps boost sales; and a study showed that pirates are some of the best consumers. The “fact” that piracy means a loss in sales is no longer a fact and is up for debate. It’s hard to argue that damages are so great that they should be granted additional powers.
There have been a few poignant analogies that sum it up perfectly.
Blaming YouTube for copyright infringement is like blaming Budweiser for a drunk driving incident.
Or more directly, holding YouTube responsible for copyright infringement is like holding Xerox responsible when someone copies a newspaper article.