FirstRowSports Seized: What Was The Point of "Stop SOPA" Campaign?

This post is kind of off topic, but also not really, but it's not about Eagles football. So if you all you want is Eagles news, keep scrolling down.

For those of you still reading, you no doubt noticed the giant internet wide protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA, which was a bill in congress that would have given the government the authority to take down foreign based sites that infringe on US based copyrights. Sites like Wikipedia & Reddit went dark, heavyweights like Facebook & Google lodged their objections to the bill, even SBNation expressed their opposition.

The bill was eventually shelved, but in reality, the campaign was failure. Because as it turns out, the feds can already take down whatever copyright infringing sites they want and are doing so at an increasing rate ahead of the Super Bowl.

In a new round of seizures the US authorities have taken control of domain names belonging to several popular sports streaming sites including Firstrowsports.tv, Firstrowsports.com and Soccertvlive.net. All affected sites now redirect to a notice from DOJ/ICE. In common with last year’s campaign, the new round of seizures appears to be part of another "Super Bowl Crackdown" targeting sites that link to unauthorized sports streams.

Isn't that what everyone was worried about with these SOPA and PIPA bills? So that all turned out to be much ado about nothing in the end right? The idea was to stop something from becoming law that is already actually law? And why was congress even debating this if it's already law? Other than to fill their campaign warchests with Hollywood's lobbying cash that is...

To be honest, there is no doubt that these sites were flat out stealing content and profiting off it. Anyone who has watched a game on FirstRowSports has dealt with the constant annoying popups... So I really can't feel bad for them. Stealing is stealing and there's really no way around that...

But people aren't necessarily using these sites simply because they don't want to pay to watch their favorite sports. Some are... but many, including many people who are members of this site, are doing it because they have virtually no other choice. Unless you have Direct TV, which is not an option for all both practically and otherwise, you simply have no option to watch an out of market NFL game. That means that if you're anywhere outside of the Philly area and you don't have a dish, you're out of luck. And that's not acceptable.

If the NFL wants to take down sites that illegally stream their content that's fine. But if they really want to combat the problem of online piracy, they should be worrying about the cause, not the symptoms of it. The cause is the lack of choice that they've given NFL fans. The symptom is these illegal streaming sites. Make the NFL ticket available to all, give us a legal online option... and it will help stop streaming sites like this. It won't get rid of them... but it will help and will do so in a fan friendly way.

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