SOPA And Sports Fans

We try to stay out of politics that aren't local and revolve around the arena issue here, but given today's web-wide focus on Congress' Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the fact that Sactown Royalty nor any SB Nation sites are going dark like Wikipedia and Reddit, I figured I'd share some info on the official position of SB Nation's parent company, Vox Media.

You can read that position in full at The Verge (Vox's excellent consumer electronics branch), as well as at SBNation.com. What it boils down to is this: SOPA looks at a legit crack in the foundation of the internet -- the piracy of paid content -- and elects to tear the entire building down. SOPA would force content providers who include community elements -- like Sactown Royalty, which has vibrant comment threads and robust FanPost and FanShot sections -- to become the enforcement arm of Hollywood, the music industry and the rights holders to sporting event broadcasts. The same would apply to virtually every website based in the United States, causing a completely destructive reworking of the internet as we know it.

We have long had a blanket policy on Sactown Royalty that you do not ask for or provide illicit streams of games in our threads. We have banned members for abuses of that practice, and feel that we have been a good partner of the NBA in this regard. We obviously don't tolerate links to any other pirated material such as movies or albums. But SOPA would force us to spend considerable time and money on compliance and all but castrates previous federal protections for sites who rely on user-generated content.

SOPA is like taking a sledgehammer to a thumbtack, and it's bad policy. As sports fans, consumers of web content and members of Sactown Royalty, you should be rightly concerned, and we urge you to contact your Congresspeople to express your displeasure with the bill and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

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