Friday, January 20, 2012

Let's Try to Understand SOPA & PIPA

Unless you were hiding under a rock you must have heard or experienced the successful web blackout on January 18th.  I say successful because the Senators who sponsored *SOPA/*PIPA have backed off  ... for now.  The bills need more "due dilligence", they say. 

Why were SOPA and PIPA  proposed in the first place, you may be asking.  Well, Hollywood studios, recording industry, computer software publishing companies, and major publishing houses lobbied Congress to act against foreign Web sites (the pirates) that give away U.S. movies, music and books and enable copyright infringement.  They say piracy costs the county 100,000 jobs.

So stopping copyright violation is one side of the argument; however, read this article to find out how SOPA and PIPA would affect you personally.  Read the part that says the acts would make bloggers responsible for everything that is on their site and this would include the comments of visitors.  Read also the part about posting a video of your child, on YouTube, singing his or her favorite song.

The Anti-SOPA faction are against *DNS filtering (blocking access/connection to domains/hostnames) which it calls policing the web and censoring the free flow of information. Listen also to Clay Shirky 18 minute talk defending the right to share.

Let's learn some Acronyms:
SOPA = Stop Online Piracy Act
PIPA = Protect Intellectual Property Act
DMCADigital Millennium Copyright  Act
DNS =  Domain Name System (a look-up service for translating a website name to an IP (Internet Protocol) address)

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