You may have noticed a lot of sites on the web went “black” today. If you tired to find something on Wikipedia you were met with a black screen telling you that the internet must remain free. I’ve talked to many people that have no idea what this is talking about. Someone told me today, “The Internet isn’t free, I pay for it with my cable bill.” I had to explain that what this bill was talking about was the freedom to post and share what you want on the internet. At the heart of the matter is piracy, or the illegal sharing of copyrighted materials on the internet. That’s where SOPA comes from, Stop Online Piracy Act. Now, I need to say upfront, that I’m not in favor of piracy. People that create the movies, music, and books that we enjoy deserve to be paid for what they create (even the ones we don’t enjoy deserve it too). But where SOPA goes a little off track is that it doesn’t really accomplish what it says it wants to do.
I’d love to be able to explain it all in a way that makes the issue perfectly clear, but it’s complicated and there are people smarter than me that have already set out to do that. So if you’d like to know more about the issues that people have with SOPA or why people say it will “break” the internet, watch these videos. I thought they did a great job laying out the issue. Once you know the background and the how things work, you can decide for your self what you think.
Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)
Kahn Academy – SOPA and PIPA
What do you think?