Geodesic Solutions Company Blog
- Created on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 14:47
- Written by Jonathan Foote
We at Geodesic Solutions are always watching out for our clients, so when we learned the extent of the SOPA and PIPA bills, we wanted to make sure our clients were aware of what this could mean for them. Geodesic Solutions is against the SOPA and PIPA bills. Many other websites across the net, including Google, Youtube, Twitter, and many others, are speaking out against this proposed legislation. You can see more info about those bills at http://sopastrike.com/strike/ or by watching this video:
Rather than re-hashing what that video already goes over, and what everyone else has already said about the bills, I'll go into why they are especially bad for websites running classifieds and auctions and why they will be bad for YOU.
For any websites running our software, these acts would make the website owners liable for any copyrighted material posted in a classified ad or auction, or even links to such copyrighted materials. Your site could even be shut down! This would mean not only dealing with potential lawsuits, but in the meantime your site would be shut down, shutting off any revenue stream that might have helped pay for legal bills, and potentially driving away your website users!
This does not affect just sites that let links to "pirated" material "slip by." It is much more broad than that. By way of example, if someone were to auction off a CD, and in the details decided to post lyrics (a legitimately good idea, as it allows people "searching" for parts of the song to come across the auction), those copyrighted lyrics would be grounds to have your site shut down. Even if auction seller were to merely link to another site with lyrics, YOU could be held liable and have your site shut down! If you already run a site with our software, and have "spam issues" now, think how bad it will be when you not only have to look for "spam," which is very easy to spot, but also have to look for ANYTHING that might possibly be copyrighted, or even LINKS TO something that is copyrighted! High traffic sites that get hundreds or thousands of new listings a day would need to sift through every one looking for problems. A lot of sites would probably shut down in order to avoid just the risk of being sued for letting some copyrighted material "slip through".
On geodesicsolutions.com if SOPA and PIPA were to pass, we will be forced to close down the public section of the forums, disable user posts in the demo, shut down trial demos, and shut down any other parts of our site that allow users to post content. We simply don't have the resources it would take to "patrol" everything people post on our website, especially since this will dramatically cut down on the number of "new clients." Think about it, if you knew that you might be the target of a lawsuit because you let a link to some site that has copyrighted material on it "slip by," how enthusiastic would you be to start up a new site? Just the "uncertainty" alone this would cause would stop many sites from even starting at all.
Note that I am by no means a lawyer, the above is my own understanding based on what others have said about SOPA and PIPA.