The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is delayed in Congress, but it is definitely not dead. The media company lobbyists and their Congressmen (hello, Lamar Smith!) are simply regrouping. Some of the more controversial aspects of the bill include transferring liability for copyright infringement to sites that host user-generated content and blocking that content via DNS servers.
To highlight the chilling effect this legislation could have on free speech on the Internet, today document-sharing site Scribd is protesting SOPA by making every document disappear word-by-word when you visit the site. All in all, there are a billion pages of documents on the Scribd. “With this legislation in place, entire domains like Scribd could simply vanish from the web,” warns Jared Friedman, CTO and co-founder, Scribd.
You can see the effect by checking out this Lawrence Tribe legal memo on the constitutionality of SOPA (embedded below, but the disappearing act only works on Scribd’s site). After the words disappear, a message comes up urging readers to call their Congress person to stop SOPA. It also provides a few links where people can learn more, including to a our video interview with Brad Burnham on the subject (also embedded below)