SOPA: Hollywood Finally Gets A Chance to Break the Internet

As promised, here’s the first installment of our closer review of the massive piece of job-killing Internet regulation that is the Stop Online Piracy Act. We’ll start with how it could impact Twitter, Tumblr, and the next innovative social network, cloud computing, or web hosting service that some smart kid is designing in her garage right now.

Let’s make one thing clear from the get-go: despite all the talk about this bill being directed only toward “rogue” foreign sites, there is no question that it targets US companies as well. The bill sets up a system to punish sites allegedly “dedicated to the theft of US property.”  How do you get that label?  Doesn’t take much: Some portion of your site (even a single page) must  

  1. be directed toward the US, and either
  2. allegedly “engage in, enable or facilitate” infringement or
  3. allegedly be taking or have taken steps to “avoid confirming a high probability” of infringement.

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