Major League Baseball Supports SOPA

The Major League Baseball logo.

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I know I haven’t done much blogging at all on the Mets since the season ended but I did feel compelled to write up this posting because it effects everyone, not just bloggers. I also felt it belonged here on a Mets blog because MLB is backing this legislation – David Daniels

Here we are about 6 weeks before spring training, the winter meetings are over and baseball news is few and far between. But some of us bloggers have been monitoring a disturbing piece of legislation making it’s way through Congress right now. It’s called SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and it is a bill that can take down every single blogging website caught with any kind of pirated material, including this one. It’s coming up for a vote this week!

SOPA is actually well-intentioned. Corporations, like Major League Baseball, want to prevent piracy and copyright infringement. But they do so in an overly-aggressive, innovation-endangering way. They allow the entertainment industry to censor sites they feel “engage in, enable or facilitate” infringement.

The Issues with SOPA:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation describes SOPA as the “blacklist bill” because it would “allow the U.S. government and private corporations to create a blacklist of censored websites, and cut many more off from their ad networks and payment providers.”

That means the Attorney General would have the power to cut off select websites from search engines like Google. It could also cut off advertisers and payment processors like Visa from the sites. The Attorney General could essentially kill all of a site’s traffic and revenue in a matter of days.

SOPA only allows targeted sites five days to submit an appeal. That doesn’t leave much time for them to defend themselves before losing their site.

What tech companies and innovators are saying about SOPA:

The heavy regulation SOPA implies isn’t sitting well with many of tech’s best and brightest. People from AOL, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook have all signed a letter to congress that opposes SOPA.  The letter states:

“Since their enactment in 1998, the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions for online service providers have been a cornerstone of the U.S. Internet and technology industry’s growth and success. While we work together to find additional ways to target foreign ‘rogue sites,’ we should not jeopardize a foundational structure that has worked for content owners and Internet companies alike and provides certainty to innovators with new ideas for how people create, find, discuss and share information lawfully online.”

Small Blogs like the MetsReport.com Could Disappear

With over 20 blogs covering the Mets alone, if Major League Baseball decided every Mets blog that is using the Mets logo is infringing on their copyright, most of your small Mets blogs would just disappear.

Here on the MetsReport.com, anything we post with the word “Mets” on it and any use of the Mets logo could potentially be considered copyrighted and the entire site could be taken down. For those sites that are very critical of the NY Mets (and who isn’t these days), you could find your site disappearing in a matter of days for a “Copyright Infringement”. This legislation ends baseball blogging as we know it.

So it is up to us bloggers to spread the Word. Encourage everyone to Call Congress and ask them not to support SOPA. Check out Americancensorship.org and follow the steps they outline. If this legislation passes, freedom of the Internet ends and many of your favorite blogs will disappear.

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