The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
Over the past few weeks, I have been reading a lot of comments on this website as well as others regarding the SOPA bill (Stop Online Piracy Act) that I find very alarming. But it is not the content of the bill I find alarming in these statements. Sure, I have my issues with the bill, but what alarms me are some of the insane ideas people have about the bill and what it does and what it does not do. The more I read, the more I understand it is the propagation of poor ideas from others. Essentially, people are taking a lot of time to read other's opinions on the bill, which come from other's opinions until it is just diluted crap, rather than the bill itself.
I strongly recommend reading the bill for yourself BEFORE you read the opinions of others. For those without time to read the bill itself or are confused about a particular meaning, I am going to do a series of blogs covering a few sections at a time, starting today. I promise you that I will do my absolute best to avoid making comments one way or the other on particular sections and simply summarize/translate into plain English what is being said in the bill. My aim is not to sway your opinions one way or the other, it is simply to make sure you are educated on the facts of the bill so you can formulate your own opinions and be informed when reading, listening to, and watching the opinions of others.
I warn you ahead of time, being educated on the facts may make you appear to be a cynical ass when you start calling people out on their bulls***. So, without further ado, part one of my summarization and translation of SOPA. For those who wish to follow along, the bill in its entirety can be found here.
Section 1 - This section is simply a table of contents, just a short way to find the various areas of the bill, not worth a detailed read as we will be covering all segments.
Section 2 - This section covers various clauses pertinent to the bill as presented.
a.1 "FIRST AMENDMENT- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impose a prior restraint on free speech or the press protected under the 1st Amendment to the Constitution."
a.2 "TITLE 17 LIABILITY- Nothing in title I shall be construed to enlarge or diminish liability, including vicarious or contributory liability, for any cause of action available under title 17, United States Code, including any limitations on liability under such title."
b. "Severability- If any provision of this Act, or the application of the provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the other provisions or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby."
Section 101 - This section is a series of definitions for terminology throughout the bill. As this dissection will be decoding those terms anyways, we will skip this section. However, anyone seeking to read this, or any other bill, should not skip the definitions section. Failure to understand the exact definition of certain terms can lead to serious misunderstandings regarding bills. These sections exist in laws and contracts to dispel any uncertainties as to what is meant.
Section 102 - This section defines the actions that may be taken by the "Attorney General to protect U.S. customers and prevent U.S. support of foreign infringing sites", the actions cover only foreign infringing sites and the legal actions that can be taken taken focus on narrowing support from US customers and businesses.
This gets a bit tedious, both to write and to read, so we'll stop here for now. There is still plenty more to go.
If you want to comment, great, but let's keep the I hate/love SOPA comments for another time, this blog is not about what is right or wrong, it is about the facts. If you feel I have summarized something incorrectly or would like additional detail, please comment as such and I will take a look at it.