What's Wrong with SOPA
Course Demo. No credit provided in demo mode.
Faculty: Anthony Falzone - Mark A. Lemley - Fred von Lohmann - David Ulevitch - Albert Wenger - Josh Mendelsohn - Paul Vixie -
What's Wrong With SOPA? The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, H.R. 3261) is a controversial new "anti-‐piracy" bill recently debated in the House of Representatives. Supporters claim that SOPA targets "rogue" foreign websites that encourage online infringement, but the bill's vague language could adversely affect free speech, eliminate due process, and undermine Internet infrastructure security.
This course explores the potential impact of SOPA on individuals and organizations in the U.S. This panel, made up of experienced technology attorneys and professionals, discusses the potential efficacy of the legislation versus the unintended consequences of the statute. SOPA has the potential to give individuals and corporations unprecedented power to silence speech online. Under SOPA, individuals and corporations could send a notice to a site's payment partners, requiring those partners to cut the site off - even if the site could never be held liable for infringement in a U.S. court. SOPA gives the government more power to censor. The Attorney General can "disappear" websites by creating a blacklist and requiring service providers (such as search engines and domain services) to block the sites on the list. SOPA uses vague language that has the potential to be abused. The bill targets nearly any site, both foreign and domestic, that hosts user-generated content, or even just has a search function. This panel will discuss the potential impact of SOPA on Silicon Valley, the concerns that have been voiced by legal scholars, technology companies, entrepreneurs, engineers and venture capitalists, and what the technology sector can do to make a difference in the outcome of this bill.