SOPA Oppositon Mounts as Legislation Heads to the House Judiciary Committee – Journalists have joined the fray to stop SOPA – the Stop Online Privacy Act, which is to be voted upon in the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow.

The surprising SOPA foe has emerge following a variety of groups opposing the legislation, including internet bloggers, web publishers, social media groups like Twitter and Facebook and the American newspaper Editors Association.

If passed, SOPA would increase the ability of law enforcement and copyright holders to shut down any site that hosts pirated content on it. But as the American Censorship group voiced on the blog Boing Boing on Wednesday, many believe “SOPA would not only hurt free speech, it will choke off the Internet workforce and its readers by taking down entire Web sites.”

Opposition to SOPA has been steadily increasing and last month,
Jennifer Martinez of Politico wrote that SOPA will be a “shootout at the digital corral,” between lobbyists in the entertainment industry and Internet giants. She can now add journalists to that list. From ASNE’s letter to Congress is the following:

Our members use the Internet in ways that could be construed to violate SOPA, and that’s not acceptable. Whether utilizing content contributed by third parties, stepping outside the direct reporter-source interaction to acquire and use information from Web sites around the world, or augmenting our stories through the use of multimedia previously unavailable to print-only publications, ASNE members continue to change the way news is presented. We fear that SOPA will restrict our ability to engage in these activities and stifle our capacity to innovate when we most sorely need the freedom to do so.
ASNE is not specific about what it is worried SOPA would consider copyright infringement on a news site.

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