We don't talk about politics here very often, aside from the occasional line thrown into a piece, or something slipped into a podcast joke. But the Stop Online Piracy Act, while it's [cold, unbeating] heart is in the right place, just isn't structured in a way that will achieve its goal, and it's something we need to discuss.
The idea is to stop online pirates from stealing, but those pirates are more than resourceful enough to skirt the proposed rules laid out by SOPA -- that essentially leaves us with a bill built on archaic terminology and viewpoints, accidentally designed in a way that will do more harm than good (and to people who aren't the intended targets of the bill, too). It also opens the doors to censorship on the Internet -- these are some slippery slope politics we're dealing with here, and the ramifications of that could be huge. There's a reason support for SOPA has fallen so dramatically in just a few weeks time, and it's because the current form just isn't the answer.
SB Nation and Vox Media officially oppose SOPA, and you can read about why -- in much more capable language than mine -- courtesy of Chris Mottram:
Content owners, including Vox Media, need to be able to enforce their rights in a meaningful and practical way against those that would steal from them. And we need to preserve the power of communities, like the Vox Media communities, by explicitly expanding fair use to encompass a wide range of legitimate uses that do not erode the market for the original works: commentary, criticism, parody, remix. Vox Media's opposition to SOPA is not limited to defeating one bad law grounded in an outmoded view of content; it extends to a genuine desire for copyright law and policy to strike the right balance, which must start with comprehending and embracing the the powerful and inspiring new media world in which we now live.