In this speech, Internet and technology writer Clay Shirky discusses SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act) and how it will affect society. Clay Shirky begins his speech by explaining some of the background of SOPA, including what prompted the American government to create such legislation and where it currently stands in Congress.
Clay Shirky explains that SOPA is intended to limit intellectual property theft in the United States. The government wants to raise the cost of copyright compliance to the point where individuals will be removed from all domains. Clay Shirky sees this as a serious problem and threat to society and its freedom because it will create an inversion of the burden of proof, a principle on which American society has depended for centuries. Individuals will not be permitted to share music, movies, images and countless other files until they can prove that they are doing so in a legal manner. Clay Shirky believes that this inversion of the burden of proof represents the true threat of SOPA.