A growing chorus of developers, publishers and even congressmen are voicing their opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act currently working its way through US Congress. Notch, creator of Minecraft, is one of those people.
Under existing legislation, the creators of copyright-infringing material can be sued by the copyright owners. SOPA would extend this liability to any site that carries the copyright-infringing material as well. If someone posts a film on Youtube, the film company that owns the film could sue Youtube for carrying it. If someone then links to the film on a forum, that would expose the forum provider to court injunctions from the copyright holders as well.
ISPs and search engine companies can gain immunity from prosecution by blocking sites accused of carrying pirated material, and as it's unlikely that Google or Youtube would go to court to defend content creators they're barely associated with, this would likely result in huge amounts of material being taken down based on the mere accusation of an infringement. This would have devastating implications for Minecraft's thriving fan community, the e-sports streaming community, and any forum that posts screenshots or videos. Beyond gaming, it's a scary bill for sites like YouTube and Reddit, too. You can read the bill in full here Read on for Notch's take on the act.
Notch gave us his views this morning on behalf of Mojang.
"No sane person can be for SOPA," he said. "I don't know if we're sane, but we are strongly, uncompromisingly against SOPA, and any similar laws. Sacrificing freedom of speech for the benefit of corporate profit is abominable and disgusting."
The attorney for Riot Games, who opposes the act, is currently fielding an Ask Me Anything Q&A on Reddit . US citizens concerned about the bill can contact their representatives through the House of Representatives site or use the EFF's letter of protest .