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VICE's "Shop a SOPA" Copyright Hypocrite Hunt

We need you to join in our big, crowd-sourced copyright violation adventure.

by Jamie Lee Curtis Taete
12 January 2012, 7:00pm

Cast your mind back, way back, to this morning. We found out that the guy whose idea it was to kill the internet with the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) had used an unauthorised photograph to tart up his own website. Remember? Lamar Smith wants to stop people on the internet violating copyright law, but, in the process of promoting his career as an internet-killing politician, he had violated copyright law himself. Clearly, that makes him a hypocrite.*

Well, this afternoon we started attempting to gather information of similar copyright infringements by other co-sponsors/ supporters of the bill. There's a ton of stuff on these people's sites which, we assume, is copyright protected and not cleared. Take the above video for example. It was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Lee Terry, the Nebraska representative who was one of the original 12 people to co-sponsor SOPA. It's hard to imagine that he would have spent the tens of thousands of dollars it would have cost to clear the clips of Looney Tunes, C-Span, ABC News and FOX News that are used in it. Especially seeing as, at the time of writing, the video has only been viewed 115 times.

The list of co-sponsors has swollen to 31 since the bill was launched, so we're turning it over to you. If you're bored tonight, see if you can find any examples of copyright violation by any of the 31 co-sponsors (the full list of which can be seen here) and send your screengrabs or links to me, at – I'll be updating this blog with anything you find.

You might find these links useful:

Google Search by Image:

Internet Archive Wayback Machine:

Creative Commons FAQs:

Happy hunting!

*A hypocrite whose website was, for a short while today, "closed for maintenance". It's back up now, but it seems Lamar's web monkeys have blocked the Wayback Machine internet archive tool we used to look at the old, SOPA-unfriendly version of the site. We just get this error message.

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