Since the majority of those in power seem to be hell-bent on ending the free internet as we know it, it looks as though it might be up to the consumers to combat harmful legislation like the current Stop Online Piracy Act. Last week, we told you how information consumers could protest SOPA with a nifty little Chrome extension that notifies users when they visit a website linked to SOPA support. Now, there's an app for Android users that helps consumers know if they are supporting SOPA with their dollars.
No More SOPA, a new Android app developed by two college students, lets users scan bar codes of products to determine if they come from a known SOPA supporter or are "intimately related" to a SOPA supporter.
From the app description:
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) if passed will drastically change the internet for the worse. This app will help you avoid SOPA supporting products to show your displeasure with the bill and help get it voted down! Read more about SOPA here.
What it is: A free android application that you can use to scan bar codes to help identify if products are either created by or intimately related to SOPA supporting companies. There are currently over 800 brands/companies on our list.
The entire list of "bad companies" is actually sitting at 872 and is available on the app's official website. It is broken down into two sections - the first is companies that are known to fully support SOPA like ABC, Comcast, Major League Baseball, and Sony. This list is made up of a little under 120 companies.
The list of properties "intimately related to those that support SOPA" is much larger and includes companies like Coca-Cola and Guess? as well as large product lines like Hot Pockets and Butterfingers.
When you use the app to scan a product that comes from a SOPA supporter, you'll get this message:
The app also keeps a history of your scanned items, just in case you forget which items are OK and which items should be avoided:
The app seems to be catching fire in the Android market, as installs have shot up in the last few days. It also maintains a 5-star rating with nearly 150 reviews.
Are people ready and willing to do whatever they can to fight SOPA? This quick popularity of SOPA-fighting mechanisms like this app and the aforementioned browser extension suggests as much. But one thing that you'll come to understand as you browse through the list of SOPA supporters is that not supporting SOPA with your money is tough. It takes real sacrifice, as many of the things that we use every single day come from known SOPA supporting companies.
It might not be plausible to purchase everything you need while also avoiding SOPA supporters, but it might be possible to make an attempt, and to make choices when it comes to buying certain products. This app aims to help Android users with those choices. Although, the developers do caution that the app "is intended as an aid to identifying such products but should not be relied upon." Users should also do their own research to find the story behind the products they purchase.