SOPA: The Internet Soup

February 11, 2012

Recently, SOPA has spread all over the Internet Stop Online Piracy Act.  Some of the internet’s most visited sites, such as Wikipedia, went dark last January 18, 2012 to protest the much-maligned anti-piracy bill. But what does SOPA really mean?

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress that would grant content creators extraordinary power over the internet which would go almost comedically unchecked to the point of potentially creating an “Internet Blacklist” while exacting a huge cost from nearly every site you use daily and potentially disappearing your entire digital life while still managing to be both unnecessary and ineffective but stands a shockingly good chance of passing unless we do something about it.

House Judiciary Committee Chair and Texas Republican Lamar Smith, along with 12 co-sponsors, established the Stop Online Piracy Act on October 26, 2011. Debate on H.R. 3261, as it’s formally known, has consisted of one hearing on November 16th and a “mark-up period” on December 15th, which was designed to make the bill more agreeable to both parties. Its counterpart in the Senate is the Protect IP Act (S. 968). Also known by its cuter-but-still-deadly name: PIPA.

The momentum behind the anti-SOPA movement was slowly built, but they were finally at a saturation point. Wikipedia, BoingBoing, WordPress, TwitPic went dark on January 18th. An anti-SOPA rally was done in New York the day after these sites went dark. The list of companies supporting SOPA was initially long but, as a result, eventually shrank.

I consider SOPA as The Internet Soup, because it spreads, just like soup. Piracy has spread that people continue to post anything, which are not theirs, in the internet without permission.

Throughout the years, some people have their freedom uploading stuff which were not theirs, notably videos in YouTube. Since 2009, owners of the songs, notably WMG, have blocked some of them worldwide. In order for them to let those claimers unblock it, YouTube users must make a dispute form & put a disclaimer in that video. Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia, gives us the freedom to make & edit articles, as long as they are true & have some sources. If an article is a hoax, admins delete it, unless creators of that article cite proof that it exists.

These are examples of online piracy, but they have sources & disclaimers in order for them to refrain from piracy. The SOPA makes people lose the freedom to post anything, and this has to stop. People have the right to post anything, which are not theirs, in the internet, as long as they have sources in it.