SOPA canceled

Keith Toornman

By Keith Toornman

A new legislative bill was created recently with the intention of eliminating online piracy. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was created to stop the unlawful and illegal distribution of many things including everything from movies to ideas. With the current lack of restrictions on cyberspace anyone could put almost anything on a website without getting into trouble. While this bill may seem like a good idea for stopping illegal music, movie and game distribution, it would affect much more than just these sites.

Currently there are many websites that can be used to gain access to free music and movie downloads. This seems like something that is great for the consumers. Though the “customers” of these sites may be getting a good deal on new releases and favorite classics, the directors, producers, singers, artists, and anyone else involved in the production of these are missing out. This method of media distribution is taking money away from the people who create this entertainment. They get no money from these sites in exchange for unlimited use of their products.

Many of the most popular websites in the world would be shut down because of this bill. One such company is Google, which is most famous for the search engine. The engine would be considered an advertiser and distributer for these other sites accused of piracy. Another popular website that is owned by Google is YouTube.

Millions of fans log on to YouTube every day to watch videos of their favorite musical artist or just to see something funny. Wikipedia is another company that would be greatly affected by this bill. Wikipedia is responsible for the most accessed source of data on almost any topic.

Along with their encyclopedia are the popular WikiLeaks, Wikispaces and Wikianswers. Popular social sites, like Facebook and Twitter, would also be in the collective recycle bin because of the users’ ability to put links to pirated media. Websites like these are critical to a majority of the traffic the internet receives.

Many people have started protesting this act and boycotting the use of supporting companies. Many of the sites listed above will be demonstrating a protest where they shut themselves down for a whole day. Many sites will be blocking themselves from use to show how badly the world will function without them. Congress has already canceled the passing of the bill because of such protests and opposition towards the idea. The collaboration of so many important websites, organizations, companies, and regular people have stopped this bill from passing.

However, some of the websites are still holding their ground and will be temporarily unavailable for a twenty-four hour period starting Tuesday, January 17 at midnight and lasting until Wednesday 18 at midnight. Hopefully this protest will show the world that any kind of anti-piracy act will not be tolerated by cyberspace.