The 1 percent and their employees are masters of word play. They turned the estate tax into the “death tax,” life-saving health and environmental rules became “job-killing” regulations, and of course when it comes to taxes, the richest of the rich are now “job creators” who are supposed to be exempt from paying taxes.
Given this track record, it is hardly surprising that a bill that would require every website in the country to become unpaid copyright enforcement officers for Time Warner, Disney, and the Washington Post comes packaged as the “Stop Online Piracy Act.” While the name may lead the public to believe that Congress is trying to keep our e-mail pure and our computer screens safe, the real story is that the 1 percent are again trying to rig the rules so that they get as many dollars as possible from the rest of us.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would place an enormous burden not just on Internet giants like Google and Facebook, but any website that allows people to post content or includes links to other sites. An owner of copyrighted material would be able to go the Justice Department and claim infringement and request that the whole site be taken down.
While sites are already required to remove material that is determined to be infringing under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the SOPA requires that sites in effect preemptively screen material for potential infringements. If they fail, they risk having their whole site taken down for a period of time, in addition to paying damages to copyright holders.
The question that serious people would ask is what problem is the SOPA intended to address? There is still plenty of money being made by online distributors of music, movies, books and software. The problem seen by ...