Because I don't really know about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Adress), so I won't talk too much. All I know about it is when the US senators (republican and democrat) has the same voice against internet products' piracy and infringement around US (downloadable free music, films, etc. that doesn't have any legal permission to be downloaded.
Anyway, what are SOPA and PIPA means?
According to their origins, SOPA a.k.a House Bill 3261 / H.R.3261 is a bill that was introduced in House of Representatives of US on October 26, 2011. As cited in Wikipedia.org, the bill, if made law, would expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.
Then, what is PIPA? PIPA a.k.a Senate Bill 968 / S. 968 is a proposed law for the copyright holders and U.S. governments to limitate access to "rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods", especially for the sites that registered ouside the United States. It was introduced on May 12, 2011. So we know that PIPA came first before SOPA, because it is as a rewritten former proposal of Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) that was failed to pass in 2010.
Moving backward, before we decide to fight against SOPA and PIPA, it is better to read on the bills first to make sure all of us what we are fighting for in here. It is pretty complex text to understand, but it is much better than tweeting or updating facebook status "I fight SOPA and PIPA" just in case you won't be able to download your fave music freely again. :p
So, why are they so threaten the internet users especially those who owned the biggest sites in U.S.?
Here are some points that we might get from SOPA and PIPA (if they finally become law):
- Internet service providers will be required to block your access to the site.
- Search engines (google, yahoo!, bing, etc.) will be forced to remove all references to the offending sites from their indexes.
- Ad providers (Google AdSense, Federated Media, etc.) will be required to stop providing ad service to the site.
- Payment providers (PayPal, Visa, etc.) will be required to terminate service to the site.
rephrased from the House Bill 3261, sec.102 (c)
We are already knew our bad habit about massive download towards any copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. But not that close to the act against the illegal downloads, SOPA and PIPA could bring us to a condition that is worst than our thought: our black history. We would no longer get quality (and of course) free knowledge, catch up people instantly, and so we can't trade globally.
I am not so into economic impact, so I won't talk to much about it. Clearly, million sites will get loss and loss of revenues, I think. Going bankrupt then we are all going back to our dark ages. Blacked out.
As an awareness that has been showed up by Wikipedia.org, when our most-worldwide-popular encyclopedia site is blacking out its English site, we have to see in our utmost clear point of view that SOPA and PIPA will slowly kill our freedom of 'knowing things'.
PIPA, worst, if you think that you can upload your recorded concert on your phone to youtube, then your act might be valued as an infringement. Youtube will be blocked as a website that give copyright breaker access. Imagine how many pages will be closed in there, and imagine how it will be dead soon.
Is it that bad? We have to consider that any site that allows users to post content without any legal permission (as an awful complicated law matters) is going to be censored (its contents), worst, it may be blocked. If SOPA defined as Youtube, Facebook, Gmail, Wikipedia, and any other sites as "primarily designed for the purplose of offering services in a manner that enables copyright violation", you are enough to get your site branded as an infringing site just as simply providing or adding a feature that would make it possible for someone to commit copyright infringement or circumvention.
Is the problem really that big? No! If we finally understand what we read (the bills, I mean), so we can take action to fight or to stay still.
Here the petition from different sites that are involved in this act, actually it is not only for U.S. citizens, because we all know, that internet users are around us, including yourself.
I took my chance to fill it in mozilla, but you can choose from one of them (click on the title to get you there). You decide. :)
After all, here are some screenshots of the sites that involved in the act. It probably already opens its sites in normal view again.
In conclusion, if we know nothing about SOPA and PIPA, it is better to read it first than tweeting massively about it. I really don't understand why people do that, because it can't change anything. At least, after we read about the two bills and sign the petition, we are one step closer to the congress. :)
Have a good day, netizens!