The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) has been a specter looming over the internet as we know it for the past few weeks, as a last-minute reprieve and then expected revival just before the holidays has prompted opponents to cry foul.
Web users are right to fear the overly punitive measures proposed by SOPA, an ugly bit of legislation with some deep-pocketed sponsors in the entertainment industry- who have been posting propaganda to turn the tide of nearly-unanimous dissent on the internet. Now Reddit general manager Erik Martin (hueypriest) says that even with a strong team of lawyers, it would be difficult to keep Reddit alive should the laws pass.
In a comment, Martin describes a bleak internet dystopia if SOPA passes:
“If SOPA passes in anything like its current form, it would almost certainly mean the end of Reddit. It may not happen overnight, but we have a very small staff (~11, mostly engineers), and even dealing with DMCA stuff is a big burden for us… OPA would make running Reddit near impossible. And we have access to great lawyers through our parent company. I can’t imagine how smaller sites without those kind of resources could even attempt a go at it if SOPA passes.”
In response to a user’s comment that SOPA targets mainly “rogue” foreign sites, Martin says that analysis indicates that it is a “safe assumption” that Reddit will be a target.