Friday, February 3, 2012

SOPA and PIPA, crushing America one bit at a time

For those of you who haven't been following the SOPA and PIPA debacle, you should. If you don't know what they are, you can read all about what's going on at Gizmodo, just click on the link I've included.
Here's the shortened version from Gizmodo, in case the article is too long for you to read.

  • SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) 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.
If you want a less opinionated version that's harder to understand but has more facts, please check out the news article from C-Net here.

SOPA contains anti-circumvention language that would essentially allow for government control over essential privacy software such as VPNs, proxies, and even something as fundamental as SSH. SOPA also provides for an incredibly broad right of private action that would allow content owners to interfere with the operations of payment processors and social media services such as Twitter.

The basic theory behind this is that users of the internet and creators of sharing websites are illegally stealing media and information, as well as helping to distribute payment info, and and are distributing it to the public. The creators of SOPA think that everyone needs to pay for the information and entertainment they are getting, and want this bill to help them shut down the 'rogue websites'. Good right? Everyone gets what they deserve?

Yes, it theory. The ugly side to it is that the content creators get to shut down ANYTHING that they think is infringement, including links, pictures, fan sites, most stuff on YouTube, and then severely limiting everything else that comes through. Too bad we can't get the creators of this bill to focus on shutting down the porn industry instead. We'd have a 100% cleaner America in no time! Instead, they have to try and get rid of all free entertainment and most of the information, something that the internet is known for.

Here's my theory, all purchases of media jumps by 150% in the next few months as people rush out to buy all their favorite videos and TV shows they can no longer access for free. Then, as that spike wears off, media and entertainment purchases drop by 100-250% from what they are NOW, severely damaging the entertainment industry. How many of us have gone to uploading sites to watch our favorite videos or catch the latest episodes of some TV show? I know I have, several times. Now think about how that free sharing of information has actually boosted the amount you've spent on media and entertainment. I would never have started watching British Comedy, I've spent over $100 on stuff that I probably illegally saw first, but then poured that money back into the entertainment industry. It's like free advertising! Why would they get rid of that?

Here's some things I think everyone should know about this stuff.

  • PIPA wanted to introduce something called the Internet Death Penalty, that would basically kill off any websites that PIPA deems as having any infringment whatsoever
  • The infringement includes everything from links to references, meaning that in the future, this blog may get banned just because I am mentioning news articles and illegal sites
  • An awesome Senator,  Senator Ron Wyden was instrumental in stopping this bill from going forward, please read the news article on how he managed to acheive this.
  • This is the same bill that is currently in effect in China, Iran, and Syria. Wow, we really want to imitate those countries right (think sarcasm here)?
So if you're against censorship, please go to to stop this, I just have an opinion, but 24+ million internet users can't be wrong, lets keep America and the Internet free.

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