How Will SOPA/PIPA Affect Your Fashion Blog?

This post is by Jyoti Rathi of Style Delights


If you don't live under a rock, (or live there with an internet connection), you must have heard of SOPA and PIPA bills and why major tech companies, blogs and websites are opposing it. And if you think SOPA and PIPA affect only the “big businesses”, you are in for a shock. If you are a blogger, you too will be affected by it. To understand how, lets first understand what SOPA and PIPA are –


SOPA – Stop Online Piracy Act was proposed by a bipartisan group in congress. The purpose of the bill is to fight online piracy, counterfeit goods and infringement of copyrighted intellectual property. The bill, if made the law, will allow US Department of Justice to take legal actions against the websites/blogs/search engines accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. The government could ask advertisers to stop doing business with such sites and even stop payment of any pending business, bar search engines from linking to such sites and order internet service providers to block access to such sites.
PIPA – Protect IP Act giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods.The bill defines infringement as distribution of illegal copies, counterfeit goods, or anti-digital rights management technology. According to PIPA infringement exists if “facts or circumstances suggest that a site is used, primarily as a means for engaging in, enabling, or facilitating the activities described”.


Understand how SOPA/PIPA can (and will, if passed as law) affect you –

  • If you reblog stuff or share images (which we all do from time to time), you could be accused of copyright infringement even if you link back to the site you got the content from Even if the site you got your content from is using the material without permission.  (See IFB's post on the types of photos you can use.)
  • If you make a video of makeup tutorial or any DIY project and use a song/music you thought would go well with the video, you could be accused of copyright infringement. (See's music communities)
  • If you posted a picture/logo/brand image for the purpose of educating your readers about it, you could be accused of copyright infringement. (See IFB's post about Fair Use)
  • The content sharing could be limited, severely restricted or be extinct – Youtube, Facebook, Twitter could be targeted as “the websites where online piracy or infringement of intellectual property is taking place'!


The opponents of these bills (those include, Google, Twitter, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Adobe and many more big tech companies) say that SOPA and PIPA will curb the innovation, damage the freedom of speech, kill the businesses even if they are not guilty. They predict that SOPA/PIPA will enable internet censorship and put a stop on sharing of great ideas.
As much as I support anti-piracy efforts and believe that copyright materials should be used legally and according to owner's wishes, I think SOPA and PIPA take law enforcement to the extreme.

What we can do…

  • The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Call/write your state Senators, Congressmen/women and ask them not to pass these bills
  • Sign the online petitions like this one
  • Post about these bills on your blogs and inform your readers
  • And ALWAYS give credit to the source of the materials used on your blogs. Use images from websites that offer free pictures or you can buy images for a really nominal fee. (Getty Images have special packages for bloggers to use their great quality images). Link back to the original content generator (as much as you can) and never buy counterfeit goods!


Images by : Google and `

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12 Responses

  1. Emmy

    Yes. I understand the whole idea of copyright infringement, and do feel for those artists whose work has been greatly undermined by such “violation”. However, the whole stupidity of the SOPA/PIPA makes me think that the people behind them just wanted to divert the people’s attention to more important matters such as what’s going on with the economy. I mean, really?!?!? How can anyone even think that people will agree with these boggles the mind!

  2. Sharon

    Not only did I sign the petition, I blacked out my blog yesterday.
    I understand the “reasoning” behind the bill what I have a problem with is the censoring.
    With this bill, sites can be shut down under the premise of piracy. . . but actually it was because of something that was written. Just too many variables. And it can/will lead to other areas of our freedoms if we just let it happen.

    P.S Buying and wearing knockoff purses and shoes is tacky and so not fashionable.

    If you can afford a Gucci wear a Nine West with pride.

  3. Kat Skull

    It will definitely stump creativity that is built upon another’s work. Not stealing – but remixing – will end up being against the law and your blog could be shut down. Boo!

  4. Lauren

    Thanks for the clarification here. I’ve been reading a lot about the bills but it’s nice to just see “What exactly does this do to ME as a blogger?”

  5. Allan

    This is a great post, though I do live in Australia I have heard that if the bill is passed it can affect anyone worldwide. Anyone that wants to do a review of a fashion show or a ad campaign could get their blogs shut down. It would greatly impact on sites like blogs that rely heavily on imagery.

  6. Kashara

    I think it’s crazy that our government couldn’t even come up with a reasonable compromise for our budget and they basically refuse to do anything about our illegal immigration issues, yet they can come up with some ridiculous law to censor our right to free speech. It makes no sense to me…

  7. Amber

    I’m completely against piracy but this is going way too far. I don’t think that the government needs to be trying to censor the Internet. It’ll never work anyway, the internet is way too big. Just a waste of tax money.

  8. creativefashionglee

    These two bills are difinitely going to limit every freedom of speech and expression to the extreme.

    I participated with the fight against these bills by opting in on Flikr´s darkening of photos – 10 darkened photos at most.

    I hope the opposition wins. Now I´m going to sign the online petition. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Jeanine Marie

    I can these bills destroying blogging as we know it. This is why I think it’s so important that fashion blogger use as much of their own photography as possible.