Smartphone scanning technology gives customers an easy way to identify items that are produced by companies that support the controversial piece of legislation.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill introduced by Texas Republican Lamar Smith, is threatening to dramatically change how content is shared and displayed on the internet. Now there is an easy way for opponents to protest the bill. A new Android app, Boycott SOPA, lets users scan bar codes to see if a product’s manufacturer/publisher supports SOPA. If they do, a big red ‘X’ will show up, as opposed to the green check mark that appears if the publisher or manufacturer is against the bill. Customers may discover that most books, CDs, movies and games–products that are copyrighted –will show the red ‘X.’
An article on ExtremeTech points out that the app may have implications for our future shopping habits. It will likely give rise to future apps that allows customers to easily boycott whatever they want. For example:
If you had a personal beef with Coca-Cola — which has very long tendrils indeed — you could program the app to pick up anything produced by Coca-Cola and its manifold subsidiaries. Likewise, if you want to stick it to publishers or artists that refuse to make their songs available on Spotify, you could tell Boycott to block them.
The article goes on to speculate that with proper facial recognition, you can point your phone at a Senator’s face to find out if what he or she is saying is consistent with their past records. For now, though, the app will be limited to SOPA.