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BLOG: Why SOPA and PIPA are bad for small business

Angela West | Jan. 19, 2012
The House of Representative's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate's Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) have been the subject of extensive online activism in recent weeks, with websites going dark for a day in protest over the bills. It isn't just social networking sites and copyright infringers that would be inconvenienced by the bills, but company websites, blogs, and intranets could be affected if either bill made it through.

Under SOPA and PIPA, Fear Would Choke Commerce

You can see where this is getting a bit paralyzing for business. How many conversations on social media or through your company blog have resulted in sales or added goodwill for your company? SOPA and PIPA would take away the freedom for employees to engage over social networks or make up-to-the-minute posts on company blogs, for fear that they might somehow unintentionally infringe on someone else's copyright.

It's kind of like putting the insurance companies in charge of how you drive your car. If given this power, many insurance companies would require drivers to pass regular driving and medical tests in order to retain their licenses.

Under these draconian bills, your company could not post links to any website without checking out everything on it, which nobody has the time for. They are impractical bills and designed as blunt instruments rather than as the finely-tuned surgical measures that they need to be. Both bills put the entertainment industry in charge of the internet rather than website and business owners. And I think we can all agree that situation is unacceptable.



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