The hot news of the day is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), or a bill that has not become law, and called H.R.3261. SOPA was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011 by Representative Lamar Smith [R-TX].
If SOPA passes it will make it much easier for any person to file a claim that their internet content was in some way stolen. This is already a massive problem plaguing YouTube video makers who create their own new content.
That’s right. YouTube and the content creators deal with a large and growing number of false copyright violation claims that, at times, miss YouTube’s human handlers, and it winds up that a YouTube / Google computer takes down someone’s video that in point of fact was original.
The impact is lost time and money, and a lot of pain and anguish on the part of the YouTuber, and all because some rogue kid (at times as young as 14) has nothing better to do that file an online claim because it’s just a push-button away.
Why do they do this? It’s a way of saying how much they don’t like someone’s content – rather than not view it, they file a false claim.
A person who goes by the name Thumper77 wrote this chilling note on the Google Support Forum in 2009:
A few months ago I filed a copyright claim (under the name of
generalbilldingos, generallonestarr, generaldingos, superdingas, and
choastwisted6969) against your youtube users,
I also false flagged a youtube user name,
back in late July and in December of 2008, I took down a person name,
by using a device called, tube increaser with out the proxies on some
of his videos.
You suspended them all because of my immature actions, and I realize
that I have caused much grief to these individuals and I am very sorry for
the mistake I made.
Please reinstate the individuals accounts with all of their videos
restored (if possible). It’s all of their work not mine. Again I am sorry.
That example is all too common, and it’s matched by unethical companies who make false claims when they want to have an “exclusive” right to post movie trailers. They go and make studio deals to post movie trailers, but then think they have the right to take down movie trailers posted years before their studio deal existed, and even though their deal DOES NOT give them the right to do that.
I know because I successfully beat a small company who was doing just that.
But a lot of innocent, creative YouTubers don’t have my interest in how the law works, so they don’t know how to deal with these devils running around the Internet.
The devils must be stopped; the Stop Online Piracy Act will only make them harder to deal with.
Vote NO on the Stop Online Piracy Act. Please.