Posted in Blogging | Codes & Regulations | Current Events | Information Technology | Politics | Social Media by Brad Breneisen (Graphic Design) on January 20, 2012
As many of you may have noticed, January 18th was Internet Blackout Day in an unbelievably successful attempt for many of the web’s heaviest hitters to show their strong disapproval of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). As companies like Google, Wikipedia, and WordPress “blacked out” their content and urged users to endorse their opposition to the bill, SOPA and PIPA’s sponsors started to run for the hills, but the lawmakers haven’t backed down – even as the amount of endorsements against the bills allegedly shut down congress’ switchboards and melted their servers.
Lawmakers are touting SOPA as a way to stop online piracy of copyrighted content. This is nothing new and there are bills such as Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA) which aims to remove unauthorized content. SOPA/PIPA are different because they would make the platform or website accountable for how individuals are using it and make monitoring demands that are unrealistic. It seems to me like the same principle would make firearm manufacturers accountable for crimes committed with their products.
Larson Design Group is an employee owned company that accomplishes many of its own overhead tasks in-house. This includes our web presence which is a team effort by our marketing, graphic design, and IT staff and it includes our website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. These operations could be outsourced to agencies that use their own proprietary software as a “competitive edge” over free products like Google Analytics, but they have a tendency to get you in over your head. While the proprietary products may be more useful for specific niches, many free products online can get you where you want to be. Our website and blog run on WordPress which is highly utilized by small businesses, large corporations and individual entrepreneurs alike who want the ability to SELF-publish frequent content in a format that is highly searchable and trackable due to its connectivity with Google and other search engines. It’s really made the web more responsive to people’s needs and provided some much needed consistency/quality control in web design and has had a huge impact on blogging. We also use Google products to alert us about where we’re featured on the web and other useful web based products free of charge. I won’t ramble on about Wikipedia, Facebook, etc. In a way, these types of services have put the power of the web into the hands of the people. I just hope a few offenders don’t ruin it for everyone.
The consensus seems to be that SOPA & PIPA would put a halt to online innovation and make such pioneers as Google and Wikipedia unfeasible from startup. Many agree that while the legislation may have some good intentions it would “throw out the baby with the bathwater,” by hindering free speech, and make for a less democratic internet. In effect, the bills could help decrease pirated content (a good thing in my opinion), but will also make hefty lawsuits warranted for a video on YouTube that has a pop song playing in the background or for sharing a link on Facebook.
Political support from the bills stems from the entertainment industry and the financial losses they have experienced as the internet has continued to develop.
If you are interested in learning more about this legislation, refer to the links below. I have made an attempt to show content from both sides, but can’t find much in support of it. If you have read any coverage on these events, especially in support of the legislation, please share.
Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Learn more
This just in: “Congress puts anti-piracy bill on backburner amid uproar” @foxnews