Are Ant-Piracy bills like SOPA and ACTA necessary for the protection if intellectual property or violations of freedom of speech and expression?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Decision Time

     I firmly believe that any bill put out by governments and councils dealing with Internet piracy will, if passed, censor some aspect of the Internet. The legislators and the agencies at the moment do not have enough knowledge about the way the Internet functions. They don;t realize how inter-connected the Internet is, and how disabling one site has the potential to affect the entire mainframe of the Internet. The Internet has become the largest communication network in the world, and no one should be able to censor it.
     Now, that does not mean that piracy cannot be stopped. The people need to give the governments and legislators more information about how the Internet works, and voice their ideas on how to stop piracy while dodging censorship. Maybe the people can find a way to take care pirating sites, and keep the governments out of it. While these methods may not be as effective at dealing with piracy, they will keep the damaging regulations out of the symbol of world-wide freedom we call the Internet.

ACTA: International SOPA

     In "#ACTA is the SOPA of the WORLD!?" famous internet news show Source Fed, along with its hosts Elliot Morgan and Joe Bereta, argues that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is worse that the United States' SOPA when it come to freedom of expression. They prove that it i an agreement passed by many nations around the globe, not just the United States. Also, they show that it contains similar vague regulations to those of SOPA and that these rules could suppress human creativity. Finally, they assert that legislators need to find a way to fight Internet piracy and copyright infringement without damaging the freedom of the Internet.

Source Fed. "#ACTA Is the SOPA of the WORLD!?!" YouTube. YouTube, 26 Jan. 2012.
Web. 06 Mar. 2012. <>.

     Source Fed and the people that work for it are against ACTA. They are also against censorship of the Internet. They make logical and persuasive arguments. They first give the facts and information, and then give their opinions. I agree with them. Piracy is a problem and it needs to be dealt with. However, if it takes regulating and censoring the Internet, the it is not worth it. Censoring the Internet will damage if not kill intellectual freedom, creativity, and expression. This will essentially kill what the bills are trying to protect. There is no point in protecting something that won't exist if protected. There must be a way to leave censorship out of bills before they should even be considered.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bypassing Closed Doors: Blogs

     In Bloggers Evade Internet Censorship in Repressive Countries, Richard Seymour, author of the website Lenin's Tomb, argues that blogs are the way to see the people's true, uncensored opinions of their governments even when those governments have censored the Internet. First, he states that like Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, which was smuggled into Russia and eventually helped spark the overthrow of the oppressive tsarist government, political blogs from these censored countries can inspire the people to demand more freedom. Also, Seymour defends the fact that the vast majority of bloggers speak the truth or what is really on their mind, which gives their real opinions about their governments. Additionally, he proves that blogs are the way people can see each others opinions and look at topics of debate without fear of being shown filtered content or propaganda. Finally, he asserts that governments will be unable to censor the Internet entirely because it will always evolve to enable free expression.

Seymour, Richard. "Bloggers Evade Internet Censorship in Repressive Countries." Middle East
388 (Apr. 2008): 62-63. Rpt. in Censorship. Ed. Byron L. Stay. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1997. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale Power Search. Web. 16 Feb. 2012.

     Mr. Seymour is against Internet censoring. He defines his points clearly and effectively, and his evidence is logical and relative to his thesis. The article is very convincing. Personally, I agree with Mr. Seymour. Blogs are run by the people who have the opinions. There are no middle-men who can cut and change what they post. Also, the Internet is a global forum of opinions. No one, whether it be a single person or an entire government, will be able to cut it down or completely censor it. The Internet will always prevail over those who try to oppose it.

Question Change

I have changed the title and question of the blog to the topic of anti-piracy versus  freedom. After the protests from the Internet, SOPA and PIPA were stopped and sent back to be redesigned. They dropped out of any current news and there still hasn't been anything new about them. Broadening the topic will allow posts of more articles about the debate as well as posts about other bills and laws. Stay tuned for newer posts.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 18, 2012: Everything Went Dark

     In "No SOPA blackout? We know who you are," Mark Gibbs argues that in order to produce a crushing blow to the SOPA and PIPA legislations, all major Internet sites must go dark at once, not just some. He shows that even though some major sites, like WIkipedia and Reddit, went dark, the major sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and AOL did not go dark, which hurt the protest. Also, Gibbs suggests that merely making a banner to go across the top of the site or blacking-out the name of the site do not provide enough power to sway a person to speak out against the bills. Finally, he shows how the lack of full blackout from major sites like Google and Facebook allowed enough controversy for the ally of SOPA, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to argue that the blackouts were a publicity stunt and a means of attracting more users and cash flow.

     "No SOPA blackout? We know who you are." Network World 20 Jan. 2012: 44. Gale Power

Search. Web. 25 Jan. 2012.

     Gibbs is obviously against SOPA and PIPA. He calls for more protest against the bills than what has been given. I agree with him that more protest is needed, like another blackout date with more sites going dark. However, I believe sites like Google should keep most of their content up and running. Search engines like Google are used too much in everyday life to go down for a day. They are also used for emergencies, so they should not shut down their features that help in those situations. However, to put SOPA and PIPA down for good, there needs to be more protesting and a larger single event.


     The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), SOPA's Senate version, have been circulating through the media lately. I'm sure most everyone heard about the blackouts that sprang up across many important Internet sites, like Wikipedia, in protest of the bills. And now the bills have been sent back to the drawing boards for remodeling, postponing the decision for them to be put into law or not. The Justice Department has been allowed to find illegally attained copyrighted material on United Sates based websites and seized the properties of those sites for many years.The SOPA bill would allow the Justice Department to force shutdowns of foreign based websites that allowed illegal use of copyrighted content. The bill also allows the JD to force IPS Providers (those who provide the Internet connections such as AT&T, Verizon, etc.) to block certain sites that they have deemed to contain illegal content. The parameters to deem sites illegal are the main topics of debate. Over the next few weeks I will find and post articles and media that give their view of the bills, for or against, and why they choose those sides.