The likely result of the 2011 and early 2012 PIPA (Protect IP Act) and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) legislation. The initial formation of these documents, bankrolled by the MPAA and RIAA industry giants, was intended to stop piracy in yet another venue: online. The laws were written in such a broad way, and with such ineffective methodology (DNS blocking), that the impact of the laws on actual piracy would be minimal. Instead, the laws provide for action based on accusation, rather than due process. A website merely has to be reported as having copyrighted material, and the action to shut it down goes into effect - with proof of actual wrongdoing not required.
The likelihood of this being abused is high. The effects are bound to be staggering, especially on the smaller organizations whose websites are their storefronts. Stifling political action, information sharing, and more... based on accusation alone, just like McCarthyism in the 1950s.
User Reports site: Samplesite.com has posted a picture of mine!!!
ISPs: Ok, block 'em. *blocks samplesite.com*
Samplesite.com: What the heck? Why aren't we getting any traffic? Nobody has clicked once today, and we normally get about 5000 a day! We're losing money!
Samplesite techs: Someone is blocking us - we can't get our website from outside. The redirect says we have copyrighted material posted illegally - but we don't!
Investigation reveals that a former user, banned from the service, has bragged to other users that he got "that damn site taken offline."
Samplesite CEO: I have to lay off some workers while we get this sorted out, because without income and traffic we can't pay everyone.
Samplesite Lawyers spend weeks to months trying to clear the name of the website. In the meantime, the business slowly dies.
Samplesite CEO: Damned Electronic McCarthyism!
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