Why SOPA will have Zero effect on Piracy
SOPA Blacklisted domains will be blocked by denying DNS requests. DNS (Domain Name System) is essentially a phone-book relating easy to remember words, to static Internet addresses. Just like in a phone-book, if you deny access to a record the web site’s IP address (phone number) will still work. The IP address will still continue to work without a DNS record. If users just use a different phone book, or write the address down somewhere else; they could still access the blocked websites like nothing has happened.
As a user you can write your own “phonebook” that is SOPA safe by editing your operating system’s hosts file. It’s essentially the same as writing a name and phone number down on a sticky note.
In windows this is in C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
In Linux & Mac OSX it’s in /etc/hosts
- SOPA only affects DNS systems that the US Government can control.
- DNS is not required to access other machines across the Internet.
– DNS is used as a human friendly way to get the address to a server’s location, and to choose a particular service on that server.
- While DNS names are required to access many web services using shared IP addresses, it doesn’t matter where you get an IP address for a DNS name just as long as that IP address is correct.
– For SOPA blocked sites, a user can edit their hosts file to include the domain name and correct IP address.
- The users of the site could switch to an alternate DNS provider outside of SOPA’s control.
– This is an easy 3 minute process that can be done to any OS or common household router. Here’s a guide from google, it can be adopted for any DNS provider.
- P2P Software systems used for piracy do not directly rely on DNS.
– While DNS names may be used to connect to trackers, it’s not a requirement. Nearly all systems just use IP address to interconnect users, completely bypassing DNS.
While initially this will thwart some forms of piracy, these pirates will very quickly move to alternative pre-existing SOPA safe methods that do not rely on DNS. Some of these include offshore USENET, IRC + DCC, Bittorrent, WASTE, and Freenet
The only people who will be hurt by this legislation are those who are not actually involved with piracy.