Do you agree with Wikipedia that Sopa and Pipa amount to censorship?

Should the US government have the power to shut down web sites world wide? Or do you agree with Wikipedia and Google that the proposed bills amount to Chinese style online censorship? Devote 2 minutes to watching an informative video about the bills:

If congress pass the bills, anyone posting a home video online with a song playing in the background could in theory be accused of piracy and their site shut down. The Obama administration has stated it's not in favour of the proposed legislation since it threatens an innovative and open internet. So if worse comes to worse, the president could presumably veto it? Some members of congress however, are keen on the bills in order to please Hollywood and the musical industy. 

Would the bills be the end of internet as we know it?

This is what Wikipedia has to say about the bills: ""They put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won't have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn't being infringed.

'Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won't show up in major search engines. And, Sopa and Pipa build a framework for future restrictions and suppression. Proponents of Sopa have characterised the opposition as being people who want to enable piracy or defend piracy". 

According to Jimmy Wales, "The bill is so over broad and so badly written that it's going to impact all kinds of things that, you know, don't have anything to do with stopping piracy."

Sopa and Pipa actually propose that anyone found guilty of streaming copyrighted content without permission 10 or more times within six months should go to jail.

Would Sopa and Pipa completely change social media networks like Linkedin and Facebook because they would need to police everything their members post? Will online freedom of speech be severely resticted by the bills? Or do you agree with Robert Murdoch who has complained about the White House not supporting the most extreme elements of the bills? Do you want to keep the internet as it is or should it be censored world-wide by the US government? 

Video: Al Jazeera English – You Tube

29 thoughts on “Do you agree with Wikipedia that Sopa and Pipa amount to censorship?

  1. Not really but we just have to take careful.
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  2. Sanjeev, censorship should only be against pedophiles, people preaching hatred and so forth. Criminals, like pirates, is one step ahead of the law enforcement agencies all the time. So trying to use laws like Sopa and Pipa will not work. They will only have an impact on innocent people. Some spam comment sent to your site could for instance have a link that would shut down your site.

  3. Catarina, I think the whole SOPA/PIPA would have been nothing but detrimental. Apart from being too vague… it held the door ope for them to basically have the freedom to take complete freedom away from all of us. What I mean is, I know the Hollywood Actors and Music industry supported it, but it had the power with the wording to do so much more to any industry and/or individual.

    Also, I saw no 'blame' or punishment for the 'wrong doer'… and what I mean is the bill would have made companies like Google, payPal, YouTube, etc responsible and made them watchdog over who they served. Yet the only punishment that would have affected the 'wrong doer' would have been that their site would be shut down.

    There's so much wrong with this that I could go on for hours… thank goodness I don't have to.


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  4. Sopa and Pipa are reactionary measures being pushed through the legislature by an industry that is reluctant to admit that it needs to change it's way of doing business. Physical media is a swiftly disappearing product and the entertainment industry hasn't yet figured out how to get money out of every person that views or listens to a digital copy. On the flip side, in the relatively short lifespan of the digital age, the world has become used to free being their favorite price. Personally, I am willing to pay for a song or to view a movie but find that paying $14 to download an "album" when I can buy the physical copy @ WMT for $9 to be a little insulting. There should be a way to digitally tag media to ensure that the people who deserve to be paid for their efforts are fairly compensated.

    1. Spot on Mark. Agree with you completely. The media and movie industries have to find ways to do business online. There is no avoiding it and lobbying congress will not work in the long run. Besides the protests against those bills worked and hopefully they will never become laws.

  5. The global operation that saw shut down and its owner arrested is a major development in the battle over online copyright infringement.

    The US authorities which mounted the operation appear to have plenty of muscle to act against what they see as a serious threat to copyright owners – so why do they need the even more extensive powers which Sopa and Pipa appear to promise?

  6. The bills are very poorly put together – fortunately they seem to have been withdrawn. Copyright protection is reasonable, but must be handled in a reasonable fashion and not this heavy-handed way.

    Imagine the uproar if China, for example, was able to shut down a website in the US for some reason…

    The bills need to be completely rewritten to ensure they are fair and reasonable for all parties.

    1. Glad you agree with me Guy. One Linkedin member who is a publisher wrote that he very much want to prevent copy right infringements but those bills will not achieve that. He is vehemently against the bills.

  7. I agree with you 100% Catarina by the way did you see this – quite ironic methinks!

    I can't see it going ahead, so many people are opposed to it… let's hope so anyway!
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  8. Yes Jamella. But people stealing creative work will find a ways. From what I understand criminals change URLs on a continous basis. So once a URL is closed down it wasn't used anyway. They also hijack innocent people's computers to send out messages where to download movies for free. Your computer may be used for that and the sopa and pipa will not have an impact on that.

  9. Hi Catarina – I agree with you – especially your comment that the criminals will find a way out of it as they usually do. The people who will be hurt are those who aren't breaking the law, or stealing, and are paying for the content they are using but as Lou said, can turn into a criminal if someone passes by whistling a tune and you catch it on video. If this bill is passed, we are all screwed – big time!
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  10. It would have been helpful to see the arguments in favour of SOPA and Pipa as well as those against, before giving a view. But Catarina's World has already told us what answer it expects so there is little point in making any counter-argument.

    1. Your choice Chris:-) The arguments in favour are that they would stop piracy and copy right infringements which they will not. Criminals change URLs on a continous basis so once one is blocked they are already operating from another one.

  11. Agree with you completely Sherryl. Besides, the criminals they intend to stop will manage anyway. It will be ordinary users of internet all over the world that will be affected. Common internet use will be criminalized if those bills are implemented.

  12. As a US citizen, I don't believe we need any more government control such as SOPA and Pipa. It's difficult enough for small businesses to compete without saddling them with restrictions such as these. To think that individuals could be fined for posting a video of their child singing a copyrighted song is ridiculous. Our country is faced with so many challenges these days, for our congressman to be attempting to police the Internet is ridiculous in my opinion.
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  13. From what I have read it should be stopped as at the extreme if you have a link in all innocence you are guilty. You can't all of a sudden stop millions of people from using the internet they way they have and the criminals will still get around it. For example they only target domain names and not IP addresses.

    In Australia the government tried or may still be trying to censor the internet and blacklist sites related to child pornography. Again they way it was going to work was going to catch some normal sites and would not work.
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    1. Glad we agree Susan. It's one thing to root out pedophiles and pirate sites and another to introduce sweeping laws that will turn us all into criminals. And criminals will, as you say, find a way round it.

  14. Indeed. However, lacking sufficient sensitivity, I see the irony.

    The efforts to repulse Government intrusion have been made with a celerity that is non-nonpareil. However, when others intrude, the same people seek the Governments intervention to protect them.

    I'm stubborn. George Washington was tenacious.

    One person's intrusion, is another persons intervention.

    Yet, few have followed the path of the trajectory. (Even anarchists don't like anarchists.) However, the internet is a digital Woodstock. Do your own thing. [Anyone read Animal Farm by Orwell. Remember Napoleon the pig adopting the orphaned puppies?]



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  15. Like anything else, in order to eliminate chaos you have to take care of the extremes. Internet is equivalent to what was experienced by primates 500 million years ago.

  16. SOPA in a way, is a tool to stop bullshit, like pedophile to cut down on piracy and stop cyberbullying.
    Somebody ´s got to stop thousands of children being hurt by pedophile.

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