I don’t recall ever agreeing with Erick Erickson about anything, but I think he’s right to oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would do enormous damage to the internet as we know it today.
The Act intends to stop online piracy. The way the Act goes about doing this is, in large part, allowing Eric Holder to take control of the internet and shut down websites he does not like. It is a totalitarian response from a bipartisan coalition of Congresscritters most of whom admit they have no freaking idea how the internet even works. Don’t believe me?
In a committee hearing on SOPA, co-sponsor Mel Watts (D-NC) was really open about it saying, “I’m not a nerd” before proceeding to admit he understood nothing about the law, how the internet worked, or pretty much anything else related to it.The legislation originated with Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX). As Neil Stevens explained in detail here the legislation will wreck terrible havoc on the internet. There is an alternative called the OPEN Act, which stands for Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act. The OPEN Act accomplishes what SOPA intends to accomplish without handing Eric Holder the power to shut down websites that make him unhappy. Another big difference is that SOPA is backed by rich men in Hollywood and the OPEN Act is backed by people who actually use the internet and know how it works.
This battle is so important — and is one of those rare fights where the left and right are united against Congress — that I suggest the left and right unite and pledge to defeat in primaries every person named as a sponsor on H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act.