• Allie and Ryan

    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Going Dark

I tend to shy away from politics or hot button topics on this blog, but occassionally one will peak my interest to the point I cannot resist writing a little something. Mainly, I want to know what other people think. I can sit here and write my opinions day and night (well, duh, it is my blog) but it doesn't make for that interesting of reading material. Not that I am boring or anything (right?) but I just tend to steer clear of such things.

But today I had to take notice of certain major websites going dark to protest SOPA and PIPA. SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act, is in the House of Representatives while PIPA, Protect IP Act, is in the Senate. What are they? In a nutshell it is something pushed by big media Hollywood types to prevent piracy. Tons of people download illegal movies, music and television shows that put the studio executives (and the cast and crew) out of profit. It makes sense that they would want it to stop (therefore breaking the hearts of bored college students everywhere). Some of the supporters of the legislation include the Motion Picture Association of America and the US Chamber of Commerce. They say online piracy hurts American companies and destroys jobs. The MPAA estimates the U.S. loses more than 300,000 jobs, $16 billion in earnings and $58 billion in economic output each year because of pirated movies, music, software and video games, according to The Chicago Tribune .

But there is a problem. How far is too far?

The article I mentioned above put it in some easy to understand terms, "For example, Google could be forced to drop an offending site from its search engine results. Or the government could go to court to stop a U.S. company that facilitates online payments to a suspected infringing site. Internet companies say they have neither the time nor the resources to monitor every link on a website or post by a user."

Do you agree? Say you can have a site like the Homefront United Network. Maybe someone there posts a video they found that they love the song in the background or the message in the video. The HUN realistically could get shut down due to user posted content. See where the problem can lie? A spam attack of such material on any website could shut down a user based forum in a heartbeat. Or say you use Site A, maybe a German based craft company. Well Site A has random ads using Site B, a piracy encouraged site. Google and the US internet could block Site A just for mentioning Site B even though they have nothing to do with one another. You could argue that Site A knows what Site B does, but think of Google Ads. Do you get to choose what pops up on your blog all the time? You may get to select categories and interests that relate to your blog, so Site A says they like music which Site B happens to have.... illegally.

Some of the sites protesting today include...

Wikipedia (completely shut down the English version for 24 hours)

Google (still operational but protesting)

and Craigslist (shut down 24 hours)

Others apparently are too. So, when does big brother come in? How long is it before only 'government approved' sites could be linked through Google or Wikipedia? What if your own blog was monitored? I'm just curious to know what you all think. Do you think it would ever get that far? Is this just the first step in that direction? I am curious to hear your thoughts!


  1. I think SOPA and PIPA put us a step too close to all-out censorship and that it opens the door to take away more of our freedom. I also think that the government should be more concerned with other (bigger) problems instead of trying to police the internet.

  2. I noticed this too today. I was like WOW!!! This issue is a really hot topic right now and I can only see it getting worse.

  3. I just started asking people if they planned on blogging or not that day, and got some kind of crazy responses. To me, it doesn't seem like something that is a political thing where you think what your party thinks...it's just a bill, and it's bad. I think it's really scary that it was even introduced.


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