The info at the link above? It isn’t true.
Sorry we’re hitting FYC with a lot of SOPA stuff today, but we wanted to address the specific legal issues in OP’s post. Comments are inline:
TheSOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill has resurfaced and is once again trying to be passed.
No, it hasn’t resurfaced. There are lobbyists who would love for it to be reintroduced before Congress and taken through hearings and committees onto the floor and marked up and passed by both houses ad signed by the president (also see: Schoolhouse Rock’s I’m Just a Bill). But that’s not happening at the moment.
When it happens, we’ll tell you - but even before we do, the EFF.org will! If you ever hear anything about SOPA and we haven’t posted about it, check out their http:.., and use their Search feature. if you don’t find something about SOPA on the front page, likely nothing is happening right now, but you can always use their Search box to double-check.
The link attached will take you to a petition. Unless this petition reaches 100,000signatures by next week, this will happen:
No. Nothing bad will happen if the petition doesn’t reach that many signatures, because SOPA is not currently before Congress, and the Executive Branch doesn’t have the right to make SOPA into law by fiat.
- All websites containing media that refers to or is owned by a company that hasn’t given its permission for the media to be displayed can and will be shut down. This means sites such as Tumblr, Wattpad, Pinterist, fanfiction.com.
No. Does anyone seriously think that if this were the case, billion dollar companies like tumblr and Pinterest - and, btw, GOOGLE AND YOUTUBE, would not be doing everything in their power to prevent passage of a law that would destroy (some of) their revenue streams and cause them to be shut down?
And that’s without getting into the specifics of this paragraph. Because you can use anyone’s trademark descriptively (ie to “refer to”) and you can use anyone’s copyright for Fair Use purposes, which includes education, news reporting and transformative works(aka most if not all noncommercial fanworks).
- People who post such media can and will be fined, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison. This includes, but is not limited to, people who own/post the following: fanfiction, fan art, roleplay blogs, fan blogs/accounts and movie streaming sites.
NO. There is NO PROPOSED LEGISLATION currently before either the House or the Senate that says this (as of March 13, 2014). Nothing.
Now, this doesn’t mean it’s legal to make copies of other people’s films or tv shows or music and upload them or stream them- that’s already illegal under the Copyright Act and the penalties are harsh and in many cases out of line with any possible damage that could be caused by the infringement (look to Aron Swartz).
But that law does not apply to transformative works. Types of transformative works are - you guessed it! - fanfiction, fan art, roleplay blogs and fan blogs/accounts. Check out the Organization for Transformative Works’ website, Legal Page and FAQ for more analysis and explanation of transformative works.
But as we said above, movie streaming sites? Those are probably infringing, and if you want to be careful around the Copyright Act, don’t share on publicly accessible streams.
The top of the petition we linked to above says “In this case, all fanart will be deleted, all fan-pages, fanfics, fan made videos, etc.” Now you know, that’s not true.
So, what does all this mean?
- Doug Adams said it well in the 1970s. DON’T PANIC. If the time comes for us to panic, the brilliant people at the OTW and the EFF and Google and the paranoid people at Anonymous will tell us to panic.
- PLEASE don’t reblog rumors unless you’re reblogging them to link to a post that explains why the rumor is unfounded (like this one).
- If you see a post shouting that SOPA is back or copyright terms are being extended another 100 years (or, frankly, even 10) or ALL THE WEBSITES YOU LOVE will be shut down, check with news.google.com or the nonprofit of your choice: EFF.org, TransformativeWorks.org, the Beekman Center at Harvard, or news sites like Wired, Rolling Stone or Mother Jones. We’re keeping an eye on it at fyeahcopyright.tumblr.com, too. Everyone is tracking this issue.
It’s great to be an activist, but you’re wasting your time and your energy if you get distraught about something that isn’t actually happening. And our concern is, if people continue to whip up concern about fictional SOPA reboots every few months, if something actually does happen, people will ignore it because they’ll assume it’s just another round of nothing.
Don’t let that happen! Check before you reblog anything that says creative content and the websites that host them will be banned, criminalized or destroyed.
Chances are, they aren’t going to be.