SOPA – About Copyright & Trademark violations

The author of the original, now nearly dead, SOPA legislation in the US was Congressman Lamar Smith. As word spread about the draconian measures in the bill, someone decided to check Lamar’s website and found that his site used a Creative Commons photo without attribution. That means his site was infringing on copyright. Shortly after the news broke Lamar’s site was taken down. It reappeared later with the images removed from the background and banner.

Legislators in Ireland are under pressure to pass a SOPA like law from the subsidiaries of the same companies that lobbied the US for SOPA. Earlier today, news broke on Twitter that Sean Sherlock’s (the man behind the Irish version of SOPA) site also contained copyright infringement. This site was also taken down today and probably we can safely assume that it will reappear without copyright infringement.

In Canada, there is pressure on parliament to pass Bill C-11 (Canadian version of SOPA). Can you guess what’s coming next?

The party currently in power in Canada is the CPC party. Lo and behold, In the lower right of the CPC website is a fake Youtube Logo:

Youtube does provide a terms of service for using their logo. Youtube also provides the approved logos in downloadable form.

Yes, those three sites only had minor infringements. But, they are infringements nonetheless.

  • How many websites currently have accidental fake logos?
  • How many websites currently have an image downloaded from a photo hosting service (ex. Flickr)?
  • How many websites currently have an icon the developer borrowed from Windows, OSX or an application?

The answer is probably millions. Is there a point at which technically illiterate politicians will clue in that the laws they are proposing will negatively affect millions of existing websites?

The additional irony with the CPC instance is that Youtube might end up being blocked from Canada if C-11 is passed.

Author: Ron

Homeschooling dad of 4 (ages 27 - 14), grampy to 3, WordPress core contributor, former farmboy & software developer by profession.