The PR Guru

January 17, 2012

#SOPASTRIKE – WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT THEN?

Filed under: Uncategorized — richardswancott @ 6:15 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow (Wed) there will be a major online protest against some anti-piracy proposals the US Govt is thinking of bringing in.

All English language content on some pretty big sites like Reddit, WordPress.org, and Wikipedia will be shutdown for the day (here’s a list), between 8am and 8pm Eastern Standard Time – or from 3am to 3pm in the UK. As far as we know Facebook will not be part of the protest, as had been claimed.

The issue is sharing content, and two bills heading for Congress on illegal file-sharing – SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). They would make it a crime to stream copyrighted content on a website without permission.

Not a bad idea, you might think. But some high profile opponents, like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, believe it would cripple the internet by making them responsible for policing the content of all the sites they link to.

Some sites, they argue, could be blocked by ISPs for sharing music, movies etc. And others, like Google, could be stopped from linking to sites which share files. They claim this could reduce freedom of expression, and leave the door open for internet censorship.

Personally, I don’t really understand their argument. They say they want to help prevent illegal file-sharing, but I don’t see any other way of preventing it than taking down the sites responsible. And I don’t really see how this restricts freedom of speech. The only thing which is restricting freedom of speech is the strike, isn’t it?

Perhaps someone would care to enlighten me?

There’s some more info here for those of you who want to know more:

Wikipedia Blackout, SOPA and PIPA explained, ABC News

Stop Online Piracy Act, Wikipedia

10 big sites that will blackout tomorrow and four possible false alarms, The Wall

Stopped they must be; on this all depends, Reddit

 

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3 Comments »

  1. The problem is that we already have laws against piracy. People have been sent to jail for downloading music illegally ,which seems pretty harsh – jail, rather than a fine. These bills would make the sites that could possibly have any content posted by a user that is pirated content, held responsible, as well as the person who broke the law to begin with. Then there would be Google, Twitter, Facebook, and whoever else fined or taken down. We are watching our government do more and more things that restrict our freedom, such as unlawful searches, indefinite detention of suspects who haven’t been charged with a crime, etc. We’re being told to spy on each other with the Dept. of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” program. Put all that together and we see the possibility of our freedom of speech being hampered by the sites we use to talk to each other about these issues being closed down over piracy charges. I hope this explanation helps you understand our concerns. I’m glad you asked the question, rather than just mindlessly criticizing us.

    Comment by thinkactlive — January 17, 2012 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

  2. Here’s a link to a blog by Reddit that explains more than what I understood previously. I hope this is helpful, too. http://blog.reddit.com/2012/01/technical-examination-of-sopa-and.html

    Comment by thinkactlive — January 17, 2012 @ 9:26 pm | Reply

    • That’s brilliant, thank you 🙂

      I can understand the argument that the bills have to be re-drafted because of the ambiguous language – no problem with that at all.

      But something has to be done against piracy and this looks like a start.

      It should be done globally, otherwise the problem will be moved rather than dealt with.

      Comment by richardswancott — January 18, 2012 @ 9:49 am | Reply


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