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Possibly those in Congress here in the United States have forgotten that the “www” prior to a web address or domain name stands for “World Wide Web.” In late October 2011 the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced to the House of Representatives and according to CNN Money, SOPA was expected “sail quickly through committee approval in the house.” However, here it is 2012 and hearings about SOPA are being cancelled and the legislation is being reworked.

This Wednesday, January 18, 2012 sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing, the Cheezburger network of comedy and others all plan to participate in a blackout protest of SOPA. The internet bigwigs, Google, claim that SOPA will cause an “online Armageddon.”

Could the face of the internet as we know it drastically be changed forever?

SOPA aims to crack down on copyright infringement, those fighting for SOPA, whom have been dubbed “Hollywood” are claiming that “rogue overseas” sites, such as Pirate Bay are infringing on their copyrights and causing the destruction of American jobs. Pirate Bay operates like a bazaar for illegal downloads of digital content – such as music, movies and TV shows.

Okay so you may be asking yourself, what is so wrong with SOPA, fighting copyright is not all bad and this battle has been fought before (note: Napster). In short here is what will happen if SOPA passes: copyright holders can reach out to law enforcement officials when their rights are infringed upon, the infringing site will then be shut down. Yeah I said it — closed, done, no more, gone. But it gets better. When such site is reported, search engines (like Google, Yahoo and Bing), as well as other providers, will have to block the “rouge” site when ordered to do so by a judge.

Hollywood” has apparently lost its good faith in internet users as SOPA is a hard slap in the face to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act which stated that companies (i.e. websites) “act in good faith” when the copyright holder asks them to take an item down.

Now you may be thinking, “Okay, so good bye Pirate Bay, but other than that, how does SOPA affect me?”

SOPA jeopardizes the open beauty if the internet, which in turn could jeopardize your use of the internet.

In November 2009 The Mosh Pit posted Rammstein album ban from Germany, the post included a picture of the band from their website and a video of the band via YouTube. Sometime since the post the image has been removed by the copyright holder – without my knowledge. (For any of you that are unfamiliar with my blog or new, The Mosh Pit is a blog I created a few years ago as a class project and have updated every so often since. When I launched The Mosh Pit I did not save the images I was planning on using in each post to my computer, instead each image was back linked to its original home. Soon I noticed my images just disappearing off my site, they had been taken down because someone had claimed copyright infringement and had the link back to the page to prove it – no notification of the removal was sent to me, the post creator and the link to the original image was removed.)

What might you post that could get you shut down? What site do you frequent that could fall victim to SOPA?

I for one am outraged by SOPA and cannot help but feel like SOPA will create an American spin off of the Chinese internet and Google China. Who knew that in the home of the brave and land of the free that something like the internet, the World Wide Web, could be restricted?

If you want to take action against SOPA here visit this site to find out how.

So internet, what are your thoughts?

There is a Twitter chat happening about SOPA today, Tuesday January 17, 2012 at 2pm ET; follow hash tag #asnechat

*note: each SOPA link should take you to a different article with further information about SOPA. If you missed the Twitter chat you can still search #asnechat and read what was discussed.
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12 thoughts on “Silly Americans, you don’t own the internet

    • Nice to know that you did not read and comprehend anything that I posted or others posted, because if you did you would realize that no one is permitting the freedom to steal or use others copyrights. Rather SOPA goes beyond a “hey don’t do that — take down approach,” which sure might not be as effective as one might like and jumps straight to the shutting down step. There has to be some fair regulation in the middle that does not harm the free and un “Hollywood” users of the internet.

      Maybe you should go read more on SOPA, then formulate a better response or create a post of you own with your opinion on the matter. I would love to read it.

      • No. I read and easily comprehended what’s been posted. You don’t want thieves to suffer for their crimes or have their crime stopped in progress.

        I’ll remember that the next time I see an obviously Liberal woman being assaulted and make sure, instead stopping the crime in progress, that I take the more moderate approach of just informing the Police.

      • Have you read anything further then what I posted? I am in no way an expert on the topic, but SOPA will target all sites for piracy/copyright infringement if passed. That means your site to could face the consequences if any of your political cartoons or other images are copyright material you are using. No where have I ever said to allow “thieves” to continue, I did however question the validity of the SOPA supporters claim that piracy kills American jobs.

        It is also nice to know that due to one post you will change your entire view of people; you are welcome to believe, act and behave the way you want. If you want to support SOPA go for it, but please give me a reason other than stealing other people’s work is wrong. Yes I know that, no I am not saying that should be done. What I am saying is completely shutting off a web site from threats of the internet because someone claims copyright infringement is wrong and the ability to do that can very well change the way a lot of people use the internet, especially posters.

      • Actually, I made the inflammatory comment about not stopping a crime in progress solely to make a point – pointedly, as it were.

        The search engine blocking is just the stopping of the crime in progress and the take-down of the site the permanent solution.

        You also have to remember that nothing in SOPA invalidates fair use laws and that SOPA is specifically aimed at streamers, not a few questionable uses of still images.

        As for anything involving statements like, “[sic]…because someone claims copyright infringement is wrong” – I don’t even know how to address someone who can question basic property rights.

      • I recommend you read this and other bits about it. http://gizmodo.com/5877000/what-is-sopa

        And for the record, you miss took what I was saying; yes copyright infringement is wrong, however shutting a site down because some claims copyright was infringed upon is even worse & that is what SOPA would allow.

        As stated before you are more than welcome to oppose my thoughts and support SOPA — verbally and publically if you wish.

  1. Hi,
    It’s not good for any Government to want to control something like the internet. It could have terrible consequences down the track.

    Our Government here in Australia wants to introduce an Internet Filter, saying that they want to block child porn sites etc. It all sounds like a good idea, but when we had a trial of it on some ISP’s we found other sites blocked as well. They could virtually block anything they like once something like this is in place. The Internet Filter idea in Australia is only on the back burner, it is still there waiting, not good at all.

    Once one Government succeeds in doing something like this the rest will follow, hopefully if it can be stopped in America, and it may send a message around the world.

    • I believe there is a grave difference between a school blocking porn sites or parents blocking them and the government.

      While sure copyright is in place for a reason, it is a well known fact that new products are just reinventions of old products. I am not sure how the government believes that blocking access to the site via a search engine is going to be a problem solver.

      In short, you are right the government should not be able to control the internet, which is something that spans past their physical location.

      If they want to fight this piracy and copyright battle with overseas venues, well they need to figure out a better way that does not jeopardize the internet.

      Thanks for the comment. Hopefully when they finally vote here it will be one to turn SOPA down.

  2. How did Liberal get in here. I’m not liberal and i am completely against SOPA. Give an inch and they will take a mile is my thinking. Streamers today, you and I tomorrow. The biggest issue is the onerous requirements placed on the Googles and ISP providers. Completely unworkable. Go ahead and penalize the criminals, but at least do it right.

  3. First, SOPA would be a domestic block. That means there would NEVER be any “shut down” (a term invented by google and affiliates). The site simply would be unable to reach an American audience.

    Second, you used WORDPRESS. WORDPRESS gets in trouble, NOT YOU, for copyright violations because they’re the one’s hosting it. Now they can try to “pass it on” but they’re directly responsible should they fail to comply. If you wanted to be contacted you should have setup your own webpage.

    Third, “If you stop breaking the law once we catch you, we won’t charge you for breaking the law” is what the current legislation states. That allows “the pirate bay” to continue having “content violations” so long as they respond to the take down notices.

    Or would this help you? I start a pedophiles movie factory and ship massive amounts of video of people violating children. You cannot “shut me down” so long as my country does not find what I’m doing to be wrong… so I appeal to an American audience and tell them to download my videos cause it is cool. AMERICA cannot interfere with foreign affairs, and they can only say “well Pedophilia is freedom of speech”

    See, Americans DO NOT own the internet. They CANNOT impress THEIR laws on other people’s servers… and need a solution. Being ignorant about what SOPA because “corporate control” says they can make more money without bothering to check if the first link for a popular game is a piracy website is NOT how you solve things.

    *Small additional note: Only issue with SOPA was the lack of disinsentive for false reports. The system had to pass through justice, but if you refused to be tried in an american court under american law they could “block” your site. People violating the law have servers in countries that don’t care about what America thinks; and it is UNJUST to hold someone accountable for crimes in another country. Yet if a disinsentive that would greatly hurt people for “abusing it” was added, it would work fairly well.

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