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 SOPA and PIPA

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ArtificialWinter
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PostSubject: SOPA and PIPA   Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:44 am

So, if any of you were not already aware, lots of popular sites are protesting today against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The two bills are currently being debated in the US Congress and, if passed, have the potential to seriously undermine the free passage of information online.

Essentially, the Acts attempt to deal with copyright infringement and piracy across the internet. While few disagree that such problems exist, the proposed legislation is indiscriminate and poorly laid out and would do a lot more than simply preventing online piracy. Internet entities such as Google, Youtube, Facebook, Wikipedia and Reddit could all be forced out of existence or changed unrecognisably because of the manner in which the Acts seek to remove and punish illegal material. The scenario has been likened to there being robbers who use cars to perform theft and then in response banning all cars to prevent any further crime. These Acts pose a serious threat to freedom of speech and there is real possibility of their being enacted.

If you aren't familiar with this debate please take some time to get informed. These are US bills but they will affect the internet on a global scale due to the prevalence of online American bodies. Below I have posted two short videos which provide a brief overview of the Acts and their potential consequences. Let people know about this and, especially if you live in the US, contact your representatives and get your voice heard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lFMgFjE9M0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4gRsaMXxP0&feature=related

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PostSubject: Re: SOPA and PIPA   Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:25 am

It's a shame websites like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc didn't take part in the strike. There would have been complete uproar and then maybe people would take a little more notice.

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PostSubject: Re: SOPA and PIPA   Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:34 am

I agree wholeheartedly - today's BBC coverage made it seem like an isolated tantrum by Wikipedia and there was very little coverage of the two bills themselves.

For anyone who wants to find out a little more about SOPA and PIPA here is a great talk about them and their consequences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h2dF-IsH0I&feature=g-all-f&context=G244700cFAAAAAAAAFAA

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PostSubject: Re: SOPA and PIPA   Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:54 am

A couple of other good videos for those interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhwuXNv8fJM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HriNzsp89lM&feature=relmfu

Unfortunately, this is a fairly typical move by the American government who think that they can wreck everyone's lives, not just American citizens. The most frustrating bit is, the majority of people supporting the bill have no idea what the internet is capable of or how it is humanity's biggest creative outlet, and could possibly be so for a very long time. A quote from a good friend of mine pretty much sums it up:

"Under SOPA, you could get 5 years for uploading a Michael Jackson song to the internet. That's a year more than the guy who killed him."

Anybody who has the capability of influencing this (primarily US citizens) should do all they can to help prevent this bill from passing, for the sake of everybody who truly understands and appreciates the internet.

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