Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA and PIPA: Ending Piracy or Liberty?

The Internet is a lively place where users can share ideas and create new ideas and also take other ideas and make them more fun... I know that sounds very general, but what I'm talking about is memes, fan fiction, fan art... now these things are not necessarily being targeted by these two bills, but why shouldn't they?

The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act have set their sights on online piracy. Music, television, movies, they are all concerned about effect the internet has on their sales. This is understandable. A business is in business to make money, but when it comes to taking an idea and making it LOL-worthy, that is what makes the internet a great place to hang out.

The bills essentially monitor every single site to ensure that they are not pirating media. What this means is that every single website will be under scrutiny over their content. Now this isn't a horrible thing; there are a lot of sites that should be scrutinized anyways. But where is the line here? What is pirated? If someone takes a copyrighted image and adds a few things to make people laugh, does that fall under piracy or not?

It may be that the only sites that will be terribly affected will be those with shopping carts, but I know that a lot of youtubers have trouble keeping accounts due to the content they create. For instance, a youtuber I like known as CardGames makes dubbed videos of YuGiOh. These videos may fall under violation of these acts.

Fanfiction writers create stories using characters they didn't create from shows they didn't help make and in essence promote themselves from it. It may not be "profitable" but they are getting something from the work they put in. Fan artists take character from same TV shows and movies and draw them however they want. Those images, characters, they belong to someone, right?

So many sites from creative geniuses will be blacked out because of this right? Honestly, I don't know. I don't see why companies shouldn't stop with SOPA and PIPA. It will come down to a point where we American's can't keep the freedoms of speech that we have. It has been said that these bills include sections that give Americans about the same amount of internet access as the Chinese... It's also said that those that make a significant income online may have a harder time making ends meet. But what I fear the most is the blatant attack on our freedoms.

The internet is our home. We post there and share ideas. We've formed communities with like minded people across the globe. I'm opening up the discussion here. I don't know everything about this bill. I was trying to read up on it, but surprisingly it is hard to pinpoint what exactly is going on. I'm worried. I like the internet as it is. Sure it has its problems but the real world has bigger issues. Let's save this one for later. Your thoughts below please.

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