By now, you may have heard of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), or its counterpart in the Senate, PROTECT IP (PIPA). Congress is currently debating this legislation, which are supported by Hollywood, the music and software industries, and the sports leagues. So why should we sports fans be concerned?
As sports fans, we have come to expect to be able to find sports content online. Some of us look for important clips from plays we missed on TV, while others have sought out websites that stream games, whether it's because the game is blacked out in our area or we can't afford to subscribe to the NFL Sunday Ticket. Some of us also enjoy posting clips of games in blog posts or in discussion forums in conjunction with our community discussions. These clips greatly contribute to the conversation on our favorite sites; indeed, it's hard to imagine the Internet without them.
In this age of new media, there are new and varied ways of using and sharing content that didn't exist just a few years ago, and content owners want to make sure that those uses don't go too far. The problem with SOPA as drafted is that the legislation could not only greatly reduce our ability to find the content we're looking for online, but it could also have serious implications for SB Nation and many of our other favorite sites.
You can learn more about the implications of SOPA by reading Vox Media's official position. Vox and Sports Fans Coalition join Google, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia and many others in officially opposing this legislation. In fact, more than 1 million Americans have already emailed Congress to opposed SOPA; please join us and let Congress know that while it's important to strike a balance between the rights of content creators and free speech, this legislation goes too far.
(Note: This post was written by the SB Nation team. It reflects the entire company's view on SOPA; not just one individual's.)
-VIAClick here to learn more about SOPA and PIPA
Wikipedia has a good page for you to contact your representative.