Tag Archives: SOPA

What’s This Blackout All About?

Have you noticed the black boxes on google today? I heard about this “blackout” via word of mouth but actually had to go looking for an explanation.

Today, many major media outlets are practicing a symbolic blackout to raise awareness of two pieces of legislation are working their way through Congress: Protect IP Act (PIPA) is in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is in the House. Each would censor the Web and impose tough regulations on American business and penalties on individuals and companies involved in the piracy of music, film, and written materials.

This one seems tough to decipher. As a writer and aspiring comedienne, I would tend to oppose any threat to free speech. But I also don’t think people should be able to get away with mass pirating without penalty. In this economy, if I had a book for sale, I would be livid if someone was selling my book without permission and taking home the profit.

These videos from The Colbert Report attempts to make fun of and then clarify the issues:

I do my best to avoid piracy, but its pretty easy to do it in ignorance. Many teens and young people may not realize they are committing a crime.

Does this conversation sound familiar?

Me: “I love that song. I need to get the CD.”

My friend: “No one buys CD‘s anymore. Just go to www dot ________ and burn your own. It’s easy and free.”

I’ve had the same conversation with friends about watching a current movie on-line to save the $12 I’d spend in a theater. Some of my friends know it’s piracy and don’t feel they’re hurting anyone, while others figure it can’t be illegal if they can access it so easily.

So, on this one, I’ll say I’m for some regulation of the internet to prevent and stop piracy, but like many recent legislative attempts, I fear SOPA and PIPA won’t be clear and specific enough to be implemented without misuse or manipulation.

What’s your take on internet censorship?