[Update 2011-12-06: Jennifer Novotny's article in the Stony Brook Press is now up.]
We got a question from Jennifer Novotny, a student at Stonybrook University in New York, about the slow-rolling disaster that is the E-PARASITE/SOPA bill in the U.S. Congress. There are many bad things to say about this bill, most of which have already been said elsewhere (we give some links below). But with Jennifer Novotny's permission, we're sharing her original question and our response, which focuses on the collateral damage this law would do to the Internet itself, and on the general impossibility of ever successfully implementing the kinds of restrictions Congress is attempting here.
Jennifer E Novotny writes:
>I'm writing an article for a journalism class on the subject of
>digital piracy in relation to the recently proposed Stop Online Piracy
>Act. I hoped you would be able to answer a couple of questions for me.
>For instance, do you believe the bill, if passed, would actually have
>any affect on piracy? I know there is a lot of debate and the idea
>that the bill would "break the internet" and I wondered what your
>specific opinions were on this matter.
>I look forward to your response,