SOPA is not exactly an issue of the US Government trying to control free speech. Well at least officially it is not about free speech. It is mainly supposed to deal with piracy issues and shutdown websites which are sharing copyright content illegally. Criticism of SOPA is high, especially after Wikipedia shut itself down for a day as a protest.
One criticism of SOPA is that it is actually unfair to internet companies and gives media companies extra-ordinary power. This nice poster from Nasc, a website that specializes in pixel art, shows how the internet would become exclusive to media companies while other’s like Wikipedia, Google and would be treated as suspicious.
The picture above might be funny, but it does show what exactly is the problem. Most media companies, including some of the press have always believed that they have some sort of exclusivity with distribution of content. The internet has levelled the uneven world a lot.
Possibly such laws are trying to hang on to the old way of doing things, which was full of controls and exclusive access. In an open web today, exclusivity has hardly any place.
Do you think SOPA is about censorship or about hanging on to older ideas on distribution of media content? What are your views? Do drop in your comments.
Related: How does SOPA work? [Infographic]