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Filed under Opinion, Staff Opinion

Restrictions of SOPA and PIPA unjust for internet users

Restrictions of SOPA and PIPA unjust for internet users

Nic Flores (graphic)

Introduced to the house of representatives on Oct. 26, 2011, The SOPA and PIPA acts were proposed to congress in order to protect and help defend the illegal reproduction of copyrighted material on the internet. The bills provide vague intentions, causing large amounts of reorganization across the internet. SOPA and PIPA have good intentions but will ultimately hurt the community and virtual world that is the internet.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a “United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative, Lamar S. Smith to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.” The newly introduced bill aims to help, but will only provide limitations which go against many of our natural rights.

With the restrictions presented in the bill much of what we, as users of the internet, take for granted, will be stripped from us. Sharing any type of material not originally created by the user will result in up to five years in jail.

Is this right? Is Joe Shmoe sending an mp3 to Sally worth more time in jail than Conrad Murray’s involuntary manslaughter of the great Michael Jackson? To defend our rights is to get rid of this bill.

With the passing of this bill, websites such as Google, Wikipedia, and You Tube, will lose all rights to its online material. The enforcing of SOPA and PIPA will only hurt companies like this by having them get rid of content previously owned by users of their websites. You Tube, a website designed around the idea of sharing and creating user created content, will have to give up their rights to share this material.

The PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PIPA) is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government  and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods,” especially those registered outside the U.S.

With new companies rising on the internet the benefits from copyrighted material are obvious. The infringement of copyrighted material is unjust, but the total restriction of sharing this material on websites such as Google and You Tube takes away our rights to own property.

The bill aims to help the economy by cutting down on the piracy of copyrighted material on the internet, but restricts the complacent sharing of pre-owned material which goes against our natural rights as citizens of the United States.

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