The Internet as we know it is being threatened by 2 proposed bills in the United States: PIPA (Protection of Intellectual Property Act) and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). PIPA was introduced to the US Senate and SOPA was introduced to the US House of Representatives. On Monday SOPA was shelved “until an acceptable bill for all parties” can be introduced (after some input by US President Barack Obama). This doesn’t mean that the bill is off the table though. The money hungry copyright owners with God complexes behind the bill will probably try and push it through later in 2012 (if you ask me).
Today the popular Online Encyclopedia site Wikipedia blacked out the English version of its encyclopedia for 24 hours to show its protest against both SOPA and PIPA. They were joined by social news sites like Reddit and Boing Boing. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also voiced his opinion against SOPA on the world’s most popular social networking site by posting a status update (which had over 52,000 comments the last time I checked). The popular blogging platform WordPress also blacked out its WordPress.org website in protest against both the bills. Public protest against SOPA and PIPA has been growing since their introduction in 2011.
SOPA and PIPA will not be a good thing for the Internet. It will kill the internet as we know it. This infographic below, which was posted on one of my favorite American blogger’s blog today (Kikolani.com) explains SOPA in detail:
Some South Africans have argued that this does not effect us, but I think they are wrong. If SOPA or PIPA is passed into legislation in the US it will definitely effect us. Imagine the internet without your blog, website, a watered down version of YouTube, Flickr or even without Facebook or Twitter. Man, that would suck. Do we really want go back to the stone ages? I do understand that copyright owners are furious about online piracy, but both these bills are a little bit over the top. They are trying to turn the Internet into a police state. Maybe its time for them to get with the times? They should realize that we live in the digital age and people prefer digital content over owning an actual DVD or CD nowadays.
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