The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) & What it All Means
There major buzz around the internet this month is the new bill called the, “Stop Online Piracy Act” which will go through the House of Representatives next month. If passed, the bill would basically allow Internet Service Providers to block certain domains if they are hosting content that infringes copyright. This fight is a huge deal, a war waging between everyday businesses, website owners, and users with the entertainment industry and big media companies, and even worse The GOVERNMENT.
The bills goal is to stop online piracy and to protect copyrights but, to what and who’s expense. The line is a thin line to be crossed, with seems to no middle ground being able to be reached.
Can you shut down a website for hosting or people uploading illegal content? The fight is targeted at foreign websites who specifically steal online content and profit from it. A lot of opponents say this won’t come without consequences though. Can you shut down sites like YouTube, which its users post infringing copyright material?
I do agree that it’s virtually effortless to pirate music and movies these days with torrent websites, and popular content hosting sites such as MegaUpload, Hulkshare, Zippyshare, and Mediafire, but, why should the government have the right to regulate the operation of these websites? After all their content might not be protected under copyright, and what ever happened to the internet being open and net neutrality?
Who am I kidding though, we all know most of their content is probably protected and the music and film industry are losing billions of dollars. You have to kind of feel bad for them in a way, but there needs to be another solution to solve this problem without insanely regulating it. The U.S. judicial system seems to love to step in and regulate everything they find negative.
What I love is one of my favorite comedians, Louis C.K. fighting this issue independently. By self streaming a show for $5 on his website, he figured it was cheap enough people wouldn’t have to steal it. It was a great, innovative technique which made over 1 million dollars, some of it which he kept and most he gave away to charity. This model I believe, can encourage others to try similar techniques and reduce the problem of piracy in the first place.
Overall, the debate continues. Piracy is a big problem these days, but will it infringe on the initial rights of having an open internet?
Many big companies are campaigning and joining together against the SOPA act including, Yahoo, Twitter, Ebay, AOL, Facebook, LinkedIN & Wikipedia.