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How SOPA can hurt sports

In the past week or so Ben has been doing a good job of covering the issues surrounding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) on this blog (post 1, post 2) and on the podcast. It's a piece of legislation that has the potential to substantially regulate the internet and the way we interact with the internet's content. Today companies around the web are blacking out their content in protest of the legislation in hopes of raising public awareness.

GOOD has recently pointed out a way that SOPA can affect us that I hadn't previously considered. It has the potential to severely hamper the way we interact with professional and college sports:
Of all the ways technology has changed the sports world, the ability to post and watch game footage online is arguably the biggest. It wasn’t that long ago that you actually had to see a game to see its greatest play. Even after ESPN became “The Worldwide Leader,” missing SportsCenter meant missing the play that everyone would be talking about the next day. Now? You can find at least half a dozen versions of any important play—ranging from shaky FlipCam images of someone’s TV to footage swiped from an illegal streaming website—on YouTube within half an hour. That shift has made sports fandom way more fun, and SOPA’s sponsors want to take it all away.
I know I shouldn't be surprised, but ESPN and all four major sports leagues are in support of this legislation. So the people who make the content don't feel they are getting enough revenue and they are willing to restrict your access to it in hopes that they can make more. Take our internet, fine. Take our football! Now you've got our attention!

This post originally appeared on Stuff Smart People Like. Subscribe to the Podcast.

1 comment:

  1. This would indeed affect me. I rarely get to see all of the sports that I want due to busy schedule. I routinely find plays and highlights this way. Mainly because I don't want to sit through about 20 minutes of other crap and ads to see the 1 play that I want on or espn.