A Key Element of SOPA Is Back

Flickr user banky177

And so are the petitioners on We the People, as they try to keep YouTube song covers from becoming felonies.

A lot of things contributed to the demise of the infamous Stop Online Piracy Act, a 2012 legislative proposal to severely restrict online content sharing.

There were blackouts by content sharers Wikipedia and YouTube and thousands of citizens who called or emailed their members of Congress. Ultimately President Obama came out against SOPA, as did lawmakers on the left and right, and the bill was shelved.

Early in that debate, about 50 petitioners went to the White House site We the People to demand SOPA be shut down. That didn’t make much difference to SOPA but it meant a lot for We the People, which was only a few months old when the SOPA petition launched and had only seen a handful of popular petitions up to that point.

Now a key element of SOPA is back in a report from the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force and the protesters are back on We the People. A petition to Stop SOPA 2013 has received more than 88,000 signatures since it was posted Thursday and is well on its way to acquiring the 100,000 signatures necessary for an official White House response.

The Commerce proposal would make it a felony to stream copyrighted works without permission. That might include the parody and homage music videos that clog the pores of YouTube and could ensnare even Justin Bieber in its dragnet.

In response to a similar proposal in legislation by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., the teen heart throb said the senator should be “put away in cuffs.”

(Image via Flickr user banky177)