I am going to reach out with every bit of reach I have on the Internet, to step on the SOPA soap- box today. I will preach about the pair of bills that attempt to fight Internet piracy. I will introduce you to the key players on each side of the issue, as the fight in Our Nation's Capitol. I promise not to hold back my righteous rage, but temper it with facts & information so that you can arm yourselves for the coming battle.
First of all please understand that there is not just one piece of Legislature in America's Capitol this weekend. The Sopa bill is the Stop on-line Piracy act bill up in Congress now. I almost wrote Stop on-line privacy act, which is actually closer to the truth. Mainly because this bill allows corporations the sole power to totally ban a site, that has even been accused of copy-right infringement. This seems more than just a little unjust. Especially coming from a Country that believes Innocent until proven guilty. So I ask a simple question. If I was accused of copy-right infringement on this Blog, where is my due process that I have to prove that I have broken copy-right laws. I know I am not the only one, who is worried about this passing.
The protect IP act, which was formerly known as COICA. COICA was refined into the protect IP act for several reasons. I believe it was renamed the protect IP act to try to make it seem like it was in some way in protection of some sort of on-line protection. While true the protect IP act could provide due process to the SOPA's Internet site kill switch, it is just vague enough to cost a lot of honest, working class people an extra income stream in these tough economic times.
These Bills are designed to stop on-line piracy & infringement. Peer to peer sites like btjunkie.org or piratebay.com, are a huge target for these bills. The problem was that they are not located within the USA. So they have to tell your local ISP(Internet service providers) to block them. But if you really think about it, there is just as much free software/independent media on these sites as there are infringing content. Although don't quote me on exact numbers. So what if I choose to produce a free ad sponsored video Blog, and post it on the pirate bay. Now the United States of America is going to possibly limit my freedom of speech, because someone wants to pirate software or commercial TV on-line. That is the most anti-Americacn thing I have ever heard.
The ironic twist is this does not really stop people from going to get their favorite torrent sites. All they have to do is input the numeric IP address(192.168.1.1 for example), instead of the written one youtube.com for example. This just proves that if people are determined to pirate software or media, they will find a way.
So who's really backing this attack on civil liberties you might ask. Well it is a long list, but the short list is the MPAA(motion picture artists of america otherwise known as Hollywood), RIAA(Recording industry Artists of America...Sony, Warner...etc.), and the BSA(Business software alliance...Dell, apple, adobe, MS...etc.). I don't stand for most software companies within the BSA, and we all know how well the MPAA, and RIAA look out for the public's best interest.
On the other side of the debate are the major traffic hubs of the Internet. Places like Google, Facebook, Twitter, e-bay, yahoo, and many others. These companies are trying to prevent a worst case scenario. A large scale company getting even accidentally blocked could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue for every minute of being blocked.
I have a righteous rage building within me right now. I could not sleep tonight thinking of having to be really careful on-line, as well as knowing that I could have done something, but did not do enough. So in a way this blog is a way to appease my conscience. It's just so hard to believe that The republic for which it stands, is now kneeling to the higher authority of the the business corporations within our country. I just hope that America will not become the founder for a censorship campaign all across the globe. For freedom sake when are we going to stop being so high and mighty as a country, and start standing up for freedom of speech. Our country was founded on freedom of speech, and now we are getting ready to censor it?
Let's stomp this SOPA attack on our human right's, as written by our founding fathers. Let's make Law makers think very carefully before voting our right's to free speech away. The Internet is intended to spread information, so let our voices be heard before it is too late. You could also call your Congressmen, &/or Senators to voice your opinion about this issue. All of these calls will be logged, and I believe that this could shut down the attack. It all depends on us. Will you stand with me America? Hurry though time is running out!
Here is some great material I have dug up for my readers to stay informed on the whole issue.