Graeme, the safe harbor provision is an absolute disaster for webmasters, those doing SEO, small authors and small publishers. I'm amazed people don't understand that a good chunk of the Panda updates and google's ranking is affected by the rampant piracy of content.
And, so long as larger companies that "publish" stolen content (Google is a good example, but so is every other company doing user gen'ed content, continue to make money from stolen content, and have NO responsibility to compensate content owners, then it chills content production in every media pirated.
Point: Someone published a self-published book and used my name as the co-author. Amazon has NO responsibility to compensate me or even remove the title. And they didn't.
Point: One of my books published by McGraw-Hill is on ScribD in it's entirety. So, it's always up to ME to spend my time with DMCA's? ScribD makes money from ads on their pages. They deserve to be accountable legally.
I don't know either if SOPA is the right solution, but I guarantee you that if a company like Google was legally obligated to pay 5-10 grand for each copyright infringement they make money off of, you see all the crap on blogger disappear. And the same on amazon.
Perhaps you weren't aware that there's a move to steal book content, and republish it via amazon, and organized crime is getting in to it. Amazon has NO obligation to me if that happens, beyond DMCA's and the faked books are replaced so quickly that if it happens to you, you'd be spending half your time doing takedown notices.
Believe it or not, it's the small people who author the majority of web content, some pro writers, some not, but if we cannot protect our content from "publishers" profiting from it, then you aren't going to get content from experts.
The Internet will become even worse in terms of the quality of content.
Destroy the Internet? Hey, I stopped producing free web content 9 months ago. You want it? You pay for it.