21 January 2012

SOPA and PIPA: Threats to Internet Freedom

Imagine a world. In fact, imagine an Internet world.

Now imagine an Internet world without:

Skyscraper City and its road related forums
and the list goes on and on...

Sound scary, doesn't it?

If you tried to go to some of your favorite websites on Wednesday, 18 January 2012, you more than likely was greeted by a special page instead of the site's regular home page. What happened was some of these sites went dark in protest of two proposed United States federal laws that would have meant the end of the Internet as we know it today: The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

Now why should you be concerned?

According to this page from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this is what SOPA and PIPA is all about in a nutshell: The new laws would have given government as well as Corporate America the power to interfere with the underlying infrastructure of the Internet. More alarmingly, the SOPA and PIPA would have given both government and Corporate America unprecedented power to shut down legitimate websites.

That's right, legitimate websites created by the little guy who wants to make his presence out there on the Internet. What Corporate America would do is to shut down the little guy's website with just a court order to the little guy's ISP or web hosting provider. I could go on forever talking about SOPA and PIPA but here's a YouTube video I found that explains the subject very well:

Luckily, SOPA and PIPA have been put on the back burner for now. The next time you think of SOPA and PIPA having an effect on the Internet as we know it, this is what can happen:

Sound scary? Be glad this is America, not China, Cuba, Myanmar (Burma) or even Saudi Arabia where Internet censorship is common and a routine way of life.


Mario Hargianto said...

It is not true and not good to catch some criminals by offending and sacrificing the liberty and affairs of so many non-guilty people around the world. Furthermore, it is unethical and illegal to create a national law to put foundation for and justify such act. It is unethical to create a national law based upon the will of SOME corporations and for the sakes of SOME corporations. If a law must be created, it must be created based upon THE REAL MAJOR PUBLIC WILL and for THE REAL WHOLE PUBLIC SAKE.
Noteworthy, The Internet is not only the container of by-law-protected products, but also IS:
1. The universal medium of the unlimited flow of thoughts from humans all over the world
2. The universal place of unlimited thought-exchange and thought-sharing among humanity
3. The universal channel of unlimited talk among humans all over the world
4. The universal channel and virtual place of unlimited human encounter and human traffic
Therefore, SOPA and PIPA absolutely can not be applied. SOPA and PIPA are a form of Egoistic-Will Enforcement.
Moreover, products of companies have been protected by the existing laws of intellectual property. What is to do is just Law Enforcement based upon the existing laws.

Edward Ringwald said...

Mario, I agree with you 100 percent. After I read your comment, I got to say this: SOPA and PIPA are the byproducts of Corporate America.

Just ask these people:

1. The YouTube user who uploaded an original video only to find out that the audio violates Warner Music's rights, even though there is no music owned by Warner Music in the video to even begin with.

2. The YouTube user whose account was banned permanently all because of a false DMCA report thanks to Corporate America's greed.

3. The student who is learning web design in school and is creating his or her first web page to show worldwide, only to get a threatening cease and desist letter from a high profile law firm representing Corporate America. Doesn't it scare you when you are the recipient of a certified letter?

The passage of SOPA and PIPA - if it did - would have meant surrendering to Corporate America and the end of the Internet as we know it today.