Monthly Archives: February 2012

SOPAthetic SOPA vs The Internet

This was merely a proposal, which possessed harmful potential. Too good it was brought to notice on time. Too bad it was slaughtered badly!
“What else can you expect from the same bunch of idiots who officially recognized pizza as a vegetable?” a glimpse of many hilarious quotes by the internet-surfers that were directed against SOPA.

Before I discuss the topic, let me first give you all a brief description on what really the fuss was all about.

SOPA or, Stop Online Piracy Act, which was put before the US House of Representatives. by the Republicans, asked for putting tabs on internet sharing and proposed a strong oppression for those who violated copyright laws. Needless to say, the world witnessed an absolute virtual revolution and consequently, it could not be passed. Perhaps, the biggest reason would be that the Congressman Lamar Smith who authored SOPA, pulled it off after a humiliating development of events proved that the Father himself violated the terms of his brainchild!(Jamie Lee Curtis Taete of Vice.com did some digging to find out if Lamar Smith has been honest when it comes to copyrights.According to Taete, Smith violated a copyright by using a photograph on his website without crediting the photographer. This is the background photo Smith had on his website.)
So Pathetic was SOPA (one of the gazillion phrases coined for the bill) that, the Internet Giants saw the threat coming, and stood against it, in unison. For the first time, all of them-Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Cragslist,and countless others. took a stand, opposing the bill openly.
Phrases like: “Stop Piracy, Not Liberty”, “The problem for the content industry is they just don’t know how to mobilize people”,”SOPA and PIPA Would Create a Consumption-Only Internet” spread the internet like Greek fire, and info-graphic sites like mashable, techcrunch posted quite a many interesting statistics which proved why SOPA won’t end piracy. Here are a few points I would like to share:
-the language and implications of SOPA has the potential to hurt the very industries and content creators the bills purport to protect.
-The backers of SOPA and PIPA believe that forcing ISPs, search engines, web hosts and users to take responsibility for infringing behavior will put a stop to the infringement. This is short-sighted and misguided-— there is a large underground business that profits off of copyright infringement and digital piracy. For the most part, however, that business is not online. In parts of Asia, such as China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, it’s a chore to find content for sale that is not pirated. Perfect digital copies of movies, television shows, music and software are for sale in packaging that looks and feels as if it were authentic.
-That industry will not disappear because of SOPA. The groups that source and distribute content will not be affected because they are technically savvy enough to get around restrictions. Finding a web host in another country and using a VPN service to tunnel to a different server is a trivial task.
-the countries where the bulk of the actual profit from piracy takes place will have little incentive to enforce a U.S. law. Just look at the situation involving the now-defunct AllofMP3.com — a site that sold DRM-free music to users in the U.S. and other parts of the world for $0.10 a track under a Russian copyright loophole.The site was eventually shut down, thanks to pressure from the Bush administration and payment companies. But Russian courts ruled the site was not guilty of infringement in that country.

Wikipedia and Craigslist supported the protests by staging blackouts for 24 hrs.- and this actually resulted in an array of internet memes making fun of students, and professors etc. , who are involved with the usage of the biggest available encyclopedia on earth. Many web-surfers did not know the full form of SOPA, some even confused it with SOAP, some made fun out of it by linking it to the Spanish word sopa, meaning soup.

But all these actually proved one thing- internet users can be very active-whether they are well-informed or not-but they can ensure that what needs to be done, gets done.
Talking about the internet unity, I would state:

We users, don’t know each other well, we fight with each other most of the time, we crib about our lives-our relationships, our work-schedules etc. We drool together whenever we are reminded of our childhood-through cartoons, books etc. We end up being sarcastic with our comments, but we also end up caring for each other. That thin string, which connects us, is very strong- ask for a solution to your problem, you will get multiple of them.  Ask for any recommendation-you will get the best ones possible. Ask for some ideas-you will not be spared before you are loaded with thousands of them.
So this is what internet is all about. And when we talk about freedom, we are not only implying that we be allowed to use the internet the way we want. We want that the walls between us, which are so brittle by now, don’t get reinforced. This connectivity between people around the globe, is only adding to the social development of an individual-people are more comfortable now, when they interact with strangers, in the real world.

So as we successfully convey our message to those who wanted to end this freedom, I would like to conclude, with these lines  by an anonymous user:

“You can mess with our social interactions,steal our money,make our health care and educational systems ridiculously lame, we will do nothing..but don’t you dare…mess with the internet.”

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