If SOPA is passed Reddit will close

21 Dec 2011

The controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) deliberations will begin again in earnest today in the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, but one potential casualty revealed itself if the law gets passed – popular news sharing site Reddit.

The news sharing site’s general manager Erik Martin said on Reddit that the administration involved in just complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is gruelling enough.

The restrictions that SOPA will place on Reddit’s business will send it over the edge.

“If SOPA passes in anything like its current form, it would almost certainly mean the end of Reddit,” said Reddit general manager Erik Martin.

“It may not happen overnight, but we have a very small staff (about 11, mostly engineers), and even dealing with DMCA stuff is a big burden for us. SOPA 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,” Martin said.

Last week, the CEOs and founders of some of the biggest internet companies, including Google, Twitter, AOL and others wrote an open letter warning that the proposals would deny website owners the right to due process of law, undermine security online by changing the basic structure of the internet and give the US government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by Iran, China and Malaysia.

Google’d Sergey Brin warned last week that SOPA in its current form contains draconian measures that will have a “chilling effect” on innovation.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years