Thursday, November 17, 2011
SOPA infringes on the First Amendment.
We do not dispute that there are hubs of online infringement. But the definitions of the sites that would be subject to SOPA's remedies are so broad that they would encompass far more than those bad actors profiting from infringement. By including all sites that may -- even inadvertently -- "facilitate" infringement, the bill raises serious concerns about overbreadth. Under section 102 of the bill, a nondomestic startup video-sharing site with thousands of innocent users sharing their own noninfringing videos, but a small minority who use the site to criminally infringe, could find its domain blocked by U.S. DNS operators. Countless non-infringing videos from the likes of aspiring artists, proud parents, citizen journalists, and human rights activists would be unduly swept up by such an actions. Furthermore, overreach resulting from the bill is more likely to impact the operators of smaller websites and services that do not have the legal capacity to fight false claims of infringement.
See letter signed by American Library Association here.