Online community Reddit driving opposition to piracy bill

Gautham Nagesh
The Hill
1/1/2012

Members of Congress and their staff have grown used to scouring the Web, Twitter and Facebook to see where voters stand before finalizing their positions. But the heated debate over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has turned the social news website Reddit into an unlikely rallying point for opponents of the bill.

“[SOPA] would kill Reddit,” Reddit general manager Erik Martin told The Hill. “We’re a platform so normally we would not take a stand on any political issue but this one would end our ability to run the site.”

The website where users submit and vote for links has a proven track record launching online memes and viral videos, but the specter of SOPA has turned the community’s attention squarely toward Washington. The results have been eye-opening for Washington and Silicon Valley alike.

SOPA would empower the government and copyright holders to obtain court orders forcing search engines, domain name registrars and other Web firms to sever ties with foreign websites deemed rogue. The bill has strong support from the content industries, which argue foreign piracy is sapping revenue and costing the nation jobs.

But the technology community has struck back fiercely, arguing the bill would stifle innovation and eventually restrict free speech. Last week a protest thread started on Reddit against the domain name registrar GoDaddy prompted a large-scale boycott of the firm, forcing GoDaddy to reverse its support for the bill and trumpet the news…

The article continues at The Hill.

Related: ‘Clean up your website’: Indian court orders Facebook and Google to remove ‘anti-religious’ content

Update: BLACKOUT: SOPA Opponents May Go Nuclear. Related: Will Google, Amazon and Facebook Black Out The Net? at Instapundit

 

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