What SOPA Means to the iGaming Industry
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is closely followed by the iGaming industry to which casinos and poker games online are under, especially by the operators who run it as well as those affected by the Black Friday last year knowing what it felt like to be shut down. The power of the SOPA over iGaming sites however, is low since most poker sites are not hosting any copyrighted material. But that stated, it doesn’t mean that the industry would look away while the issue unfolds.
The impact of the proposal of SOPA is so great that small and big websites united to protest against it. More than 10,000 sites shut down completely on the day of the release for about 24 hours or more. Some sites placed graphics on their shut down sites, informing people of the SOPA. Wikipedia is a prime example. The site was shut down and the only searchable thing is the page about SOPA meant to raise awareness about the issue. Google took it up the creative level by censoring the Google logo with a black patch.
Internet users also participated by flooding the switchboards in Washington shouting out to their elected representatives, telling them that they aren’t happy with the proposed bill. So, what’s in SOPA that made “the Internet explode?” as one forum poster asked.
SOPA is a set of laws prohibiting the online piracy of copyrighted intellectual property. The court order will prevent payment facilities from conducting business with websites deemed to infringe, search engines from linking to these sites and there would be court orders that will require service providers to block access to these sites.
The music and movie industry as well as the Capitol Hill are backing up the bill. According to some critics, the bill gave too much power to copyright holders as they could very easily shut down a site suspected of hosting pirated material. They can shut down a site by merely writing a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the DOJ in turn will make a formal request to the Internet service provider to block traffic to the site. This same method is being promulgated in China for blogs or sites criticizing the Chinese government.
The massive attention brought by the bill made some of its supporters back down a bit such as some senators. However, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, still hold on tightly on the bill, determined to get what they want.
The iGaming industry on the other hands seems to be on the clear. However, operators should be quick on their feet if anything changes as there is no telling whose favours will be granted, the future versions of the bill seems too hazy to guess. The Senate will have a debate regarding SOPA on January 24.
[Source: Casino Affiliate Programs]