SOPA has been a really big deal as of late, as the piece of legislation is still stuck in the American Congress, and there is no clear sign that it will get rejected. The movement to fight against SOPA has quickly been gaining momentum, including some pretty daring Internet “blackouts”. However, what if you want to do something other than constantly shout out your opinion over social media? With a neat app for Android, you can now support those who are against SOPA and boycott those that aren’t.
In case you haven’t heard by now, SOPA is legislation introduced into the American Congress that is supposed to combat copyright infringement/piracy. While the intentions of the bill are meant to be good-natured, the bill is so poorly written that it will affect much more of the Internet than most people would like.
Because of how it’s written, sites that host good, genuine content could have their existence endangered if they happen to have a link anywhere to a site that contains copyright-infringing material. This could potentially shut down a large number of sites that we all know and love. For more information about the bill, you can check out Wikipedia’s article about it.
Boycott SOPA, the app in question, can be easily downloaded and installed from the Android Market. If you’re on your phone right now, you can click this link and choose to launch the Market using that link to go straight to the application. Please note that like most other applications that depend on scanning barcodes to identify products, you’ll need to have Barcode Scanner installed as well so that the app will work correctly.
The app is actually pretty straightforward, and is very easy to use. The main screen has a single button to start the scanner, where you can then hold your phone up to the barcode of any product to see whether or not the company that made it is supportive of SOPA or not.
Once you do, you get to see any one of three different screens, depending on the result. In case the company who made the product you scanned is against SOPA, you’ll see this screen with a green check mark.
If the company is for SOPA, you’ll see this screen with a big fat red X across it.
Finally, in case the app doesn’t have any information on that specific company or the company has no official stance on SOPA, you’ll be presented with this screen.
As you can see, don’t be afraid to try scanning any product you find. Some companies have pretty interesting stances on SOPA, especially some that you wouldn’t expect to have a stance on it at all. As you’ll see in the screenshot below, Puffs (hand tissue producer for those that don’t know) is against SOPA while the Coca-Cola Corporation is for SOPA.
In case you’ve scanned a lot of different products and forgot what stance the company of a certain product has, you’ll still be able to find out as Boycott SOPA has a history page of all the products that you’ve scanned. This way, you’ll have a very quick and easy list of the good guys and the bad.
That’s all there is to it! So what are you waiting for? Get scanning and do your own part in protecting the Internet from the poorly-written SOPA bill. As the bill is unpopular even with most American citizens, hopefully it won’t pass.
What’s your opinion of this app? Is it helpful? Is there any other app or service that you can recommend that involves SOPA? Let us know in the comments!
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