Ok, I'll start with a short apology. I don't normally like to get on a soapbox when it comes to my thoughts on political topics, whether they be fidcal or social. This thread would certainly be more appropriate in the "Dock Walk' (Off topic) section, however I believe that SOPA and PIPA can potentially have an advserse impact on sites very much like this one, and I want to ensure it gets the proper visibility by our members.
First off, while I want to encourage discussion, what I would like to ensure the thread remains civil and respectful.
I've included links to both SOPA and PIPA below.
What does this mean to you? These are aimed at protecting 'intellectual property' and copywrited material. So far this sounds good, right? Not in our case. The potential impact to sites who, in particular, have user contributions are most at risk.
Let's say someone posts some information or content, such as information on a Mercruiser motor, excerpts from a manual, specs, etc. Mercruiser or the Dept. of Justice could take action, including:
barring online advertising
networks and payment facilitators from doing business with the allegedly infringing website
barring search engines
from linking to such sites
requiring Internet service providers
to block access to such sites.
The bill would make unauthorized streaming
of copyrighted content a crime, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for ten such infringements within six months.
We will slowly see the era of the online forum potentially come to a close. This website runs on advertising dollars. The owners of the site cannot put themselves in a position where they are held liable for the postings of members. This would require massive ammounts of moderating to ensure the site is compliant and will significantly reduce the content. PLEASE visit one fo the following sites who are currently running digital petitions. If you would prefer, PLEASE write to your Senator or representative and urge them to oppose SOPA and PIPA.