The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently being debated in Congress is quite clearly a massive overreach. It gives the government the potential authority to effectively shut down major, largely legitimate web sites for hosting a minuscule amount of pirated content. It could threaten the very existence of sites that host a wide range of used-submitted content, and could easily be used by the government to stifle Americans’ free speech rights. The bill’s potential effects on the very structure of the Internet make it much too broad a cudgel for a problem like online piracy.

Yet online piracy is still a problem. And despite the myriad flaws with the legislation, I have to say I can kind of see where the Entertainment Software Association industry trade group is coming from when they say they support the law.

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