SOPA – Stop Online Piracy Act – 79 Pages of WHAT?

Posted November 17th, 2011 by

Bologna.  I read through that 79 page bill.  Ironically, all 79 pages are online at
We already HAVE laws regarding all the “issues” addressed in this bill.  …and despite all the definitions, terms, liability, actions, etc., the entire bill is actually VERY vague.  Legal documents that define a lot, but don’t spell out concrete examples and circumstances make me VERY nervous.  All it REALLY does is allow, in writing, a certain number of days and “reasonable” expectations for defined “parties” to the crime.
It’s Redundant and Opportunistic
We don’t need redundant laws just because the word “internet” is applied.  It’s the same crime without a geographical limiter.  The following are just SOME of the crimes mentioned in this ONE bill.
·       We have copyright laws and laws about intellectual property.  (They specify the financial gain caveat, too.)
·       We have laws against endangering the public health. 
·       We have laws regarding prescriptions. 
·       We have laws against counterfeiting. 
·       We have laws against corporate espionage and trademark infringement. 
·       AND we have laws against serious bodily harm and death.
WHY do we need a 79 page bill for MORE of the same laws just because the internet is involved?  Law should try to keep up with technology, but there’s no need for technology/internet-specific law for the purposes mentioned in this bill.  The bill doesn’t differentiate between tangible world and internet world crimes, either.  IT’S REDUNDANT.
Vague Language Problems:
Legalese is always bad, but some legal documents are worse than others.  This bill is 79 pages of a whole lot of definitions and opportunities to litigate, but very little substantial legislation…and VERY little that we don’t have addressed already under the same crimes that don’t involve the internet.
Some of the most obvious head-shakers include the following…
  • Since when is “reasonably” concrete enough for legal language?  …unless it’s defined in writing…reasonably, by who’s standards here?  By the way, I searched the bill text for “reason.”  It popped up 43 results.
  • “Internet site dedicated to theft of U.S. property” is used many times, but “dedicated” is still VERY subjective.
  • notorious foreign infringers” – really?  THAT’S what you’re going with in a US Bill?
  • if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial dissemination.” – should have known?  Oh, so we CAN punish the ignorant or stupid.  Good to know.  I thought that in this country, there must be PROOF of guilt…or at least enough charisma to convince a jury.
Not a Beast, But Should NOT Be Ignored
Frankly, SOPA is not the scary beast many claim it to be.  It IS, however, an attack on the internet…SOPA – Stop ONLINE Piracy Act. 
Piracy is piracy whether it’s online or not, and we already have laws for that. 
If internet service providers need to be more clearly addressed by US laws regarding these crimes, then write THAT bill.  …not one that addresses everything from prescription drugs and bootleg videos all the way through murder…online. 
Come on.  Do we need SBPA – Stop Baptist Piracy Act?  …just to address piracy crimes committed by Baptists or in Baptist Churches?  Please.  This is all a joke, right?  

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