Why Any Future Anti-Piracy Legislation Must Not Regulate Search Engines - Page 2
Take, for instance, the impact this would have on search engines like Google. In an effort to avoid dealing with the drama and cost of obeying a court order, Google would have to scrutinize websites much more diligently, particularly with more human eyes, and the development of even more sophisticated software to test all content. In other words, they would have to become at their own cost the internet police, ensuring that the sites they are indexing are not violating any copyright laws.
So, search engines would have to go through the process of removing sites currently in violation from their index, and then they would have to be extremely careful about who they let into their index after the fact. Just like black hat SEO gurus simply move on to the next money-making project after getting penalized, pirates will take their money and move on to the next domain they get their hands on. In essence, a bill like SOPA would force search engines to pay for protecting the entertainment industry.
If you follow the trail (and the argument) further, this would drive search engines out of the business of innovation, because all of their profits would be consumed by the cost required to uphold the law and cover their behinds. This would mean that for consumers, it would be much harder to find what we are looking for, because search engines would serve up the "safe" sites, while the new sites would be stuck in a review process (some people call it the sandbox) for a very long time.
Of course, a sandbox effect would then serve to discourage small businesses to spring up online. So there would be nothing new coming up in search, as search engine optimization would also take a backseat to proving site copyright compliance, and an entirely new set of SEO strategies would have to emerge that are more protective in nature. Webmasters who do take the risk of doing business online will be terrified that they must cite every single source of every single idea the might have ever gotten in their online travels. They would also have to make sure that the sources they are citing are not breaking any laws as well. It would put new content generation to a screeching halt.
Payment facilitators would also take a hard hit making sure they never facilitate a shady deal, plus a lot of the economic incentive to do business online would disappear overnight, leaving them to fight for the leftovers. This would eventually put some of them out of business.Continued on the next page