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SOPA interest by the numbers (and the end of the hearing)

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Congressman Darrell Issa, an opponent of the Stop Online Piracy Act, released web stats that showed 157,767 people from more than 150 counties watched some portion of the House’s markup hearing held on Thursday to debate the bill. The hearing, which adjourned Friday afternoon, could reconvene next week or next year. The exact date should be determined Monday, according to The Hill. The act, which has the technology community riled up, seeks to protect copyright on the web, but takes some severe methods of doing so.

For more on the law and its repercussions, visit any one of a number of articles or web sites devoted to the topic. It seems like interest is high, judging by Issa’s stats. He’s tracking the number of visitors to a web site called, where he has posted a version of a different IP bill called Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade or OPEN. On Thursday, the site screened a webcast of the hearing, and according to the post, people were watching. How many? Check out the stats:

  • Visits: 197,726
  • Unique Page Views: 219,712
  • Page Views: 287,208
  • American Visitors: 138,917

As of yesterday afternoon, people had made almost 10,000 calls to members of Congress regarding the legislation according to Engine Advocacy, which is offering a service that makes it easy to call a representative about the bill.

13 Responses to “SOPA interest by the numbers (and the end of the hearing)”

  1. Incorrect. Under this law, anyone can – and this is the internet so no doubt someone will – submit an annonymous report to an ISP posing as a copyright holder. Due tot he way the law is written, SP and payment providers get immunity from prosecution if they ‘voluntarily act to ensure the ceasation of service and apyments to rogue sites’. This means that if ISP’s get an e-mail from someone about a site you YOU own or are a member of, thy will wipe it fromt he internet so fast it will make your head spin to portect their interests. People like you are the reason this bill is so deadly. This malevolent little aunconstitutional rag of paper would turn the internet into a world of he-said she-said. and by the time the case came to court – if it ever did – internet startups and small business’ would have lost so much revenue they may as well just let the site die rather than fight for it in court, which would cost them even MORE money.

    Oh and before you tout the ‘but it wont affect american sites’ thats only true for ONE section of the bill. The rest of the bill, including that immunity and submission of a report by annonymous entities, applies to the USA.

    Thats not even getting intot he security issues this would cause; the DNS service would have to be alterred and messed with so drastically that it would leave giant gaping security holes. If you thought hacking and viruses were bad before, this would mean every single time you log onto a site, you’re risking your computer. Hell you’re risking your LIFE because this security issue is so great anyone could take everything from your personal files to your bank details.

    Lastly is the fact that this is plain and simple CENSORSHIP. Blocking sites from the web because they happen to do or say something a business does not like or the government does not like is censorship in a nutshell.

    I would go on but this rant is huge and I doubt it will convince you since you sound like the stereotypical corporate shill. Paid to shove things out your computer illiterate maw like a parrot.

  2. I’ll take it a step further. If you’re not willing to pay $10 AND go to jail for what you’re publishing, then why bother publishing it? Conspiracy theories aside, we’re not throwing 800 million people in jail (all of Facebook) for blogging about what they had for lunch. The reality is, this SOPA will only take out the worst offenders of copyright violations. While I personally don’t really care if SOPA passes or not–if it does, it’s not the end of the world, humanity has faced much greater challenges than some DNS servers.

    • It will not take out only the worst offenders. It gives carte blanche to anyone with an *accusation* (no proof required) to take a domain away from its owner. Would you really like laws enforced in the U.S. based on accusations without recourse? No opportunity to have your day in court and prove the accusation false? Really?

  3. I don’t care if you “can’t sing a pop song on Facebook.” So far I haven’t seen any good argument SOPA will affect anything other than unmoderated user-generated content sites–which the Internet doesn’t really need anyway.

    Personally, I think the Internet would be 100x better off without Facebook and all the “user-generated” sites that have no skin in the game and have zero interest in what they publish.

    Conversely, look at Om Malik, his name is right in the domain–everything here has his name on it and to some degree has his stamp of approval. Look in the sidebar, “Meet the editors” what a concept–real people editing content!

    The respectable work of editing content IS NOT as profitable BECAUSE there’s so much junk ad inventory out there–thanks to user-generated websites like Facebook. So really, if SOPA passes, it would probably help GigaOM immensely. The ad rates would skyrocket and there would be more community involvement from all the people who would start registering domain names.

    If you don’t want GigaOM (or others) editing you, find $10 and put up your own domain where YOU are master of the universe. Doesn’t that make sense? If it’s not worth $10 to say, it’s probably not worth saying at all.

      • There was a time when you could drive a car without a license too. There’s over 100 million domains registered now. No doubt, it’s a system that works. Maybe it’s time we ask those 800 million Facebookers to pay their $10/year registration too. That’s only fair.

      • More precisely, all it takes is an *accusation* of infringement for you to lose your domain. If every other driver on the road could have your license revoked simply by accusing you of doing something (even when you didn’t), no one would have driving licenses. Due process exists for a reason.