Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why SOPA/PIPA Is A Threat To The Internet As We Know It

Today, sites like Wikipedia, Craigslist, Reddit, WordPress, and this site participated in the largest online protest in history, against the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and the “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011″ (PIPA). Some, like Wikipedia, have made their sites completely unavailable from 12AM EDT on January 18th to 12AM EDT on January 19th, 2012. Others, like this site, blacked out for just part of the day. Google has also blocked out their logo for the day, to show their disapproval of these bill.

Since many people seem to be unfamiliar with these bills, I wanted to share some videos which will help explain the bills better.

The first video is from, a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere:

The second video is from Mike Moser, of Jeepers Media. Mike Moser, or as he’s more commonly know; “The Toy FAIL Guy,” makes videos exposing toys which are inappropriate for children, or just bizarre. If SOPA/PIPA were to pass then any company which makes a toy which Moser exposes could petition the Government to have his site blocked, and his videos taken down. He would also face jail time for the supposed crime of infringement. He has a unique (some would say obnoxious, but I think it’s funny) way of speaking, but that’s part of his online persona. This video explains that many of the companies which are promoting SOPA/PIPA have been promoting online piracy for years.

The last video is from The Cynical Brit. He runs a YouTube channel dedicated to gaming, and if SOPA/PIPA were to pass he would face having his site blocked in the US, and possible jail time if he was arrested within the US, for using clips from video games in his YouTube videos.

The overwhelming point of these videos is that SOPA/PIPA isn’t just a threat to the people who use content that could be considered infringing, it’s a threat to the entire internet as we know it.

More Video - briefing for congressional staff here.

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