SOPA & PIPA
Who didn’t make a copy of their favorite cassette tape for their girlfriend or boyfriend? It was not considered that big of a deal because it did not make a very big difference. It is petty theft at best! Yet, under SOPA you may get 5 years in prison for doing the same thing with a digital file.
Making laws to prevent a person from buying or selling something that they already paid for is the equivalent of saying, “we do not care that you paid for it, it is not yours.” That is wrong! I understand completely if I was mass-producing a Lil’ Wayne album and underselling the ones he produced himself. Then I would be taking money from his pocket. The majority of piracy cases though are simply cases of someone sharing something they bought with a loved one.
I really like the Lay-Z-Boy reference, but I think that this bill is more along the lines of the following scenario: Lay-Z-Boy is suing Mr. X, because Mr. X bought a sofa with their name on it for his personal use, yet allowed Mr. Y to sit on the sofa even though Lay-Z-Boy did not authorize Mr. Y to sit on the sofa. For this reason I feel anti-piracy is just an excuse to strengthen the governments grip over our personal lives.
I recently read in the news how a group of guys were arrested for buying cigarettes in South Carolina, where they remain under 5 dollars a pack, transporting them to Rhode Island, and reselling them, where cigarettes are over fourteen dollars a pack. I was amazed at the entrepreneurship this showed, and horrified that these men were now facing prison for their actions. It is the equivalent of saying, “the tobacco companies (or the wealthy) are allowed to make money however they wish, but you (the small businessman) will face prison for any attempt to change your social and financial class because we want to retain all the power.”
The SOPA act also calls for owners of domains to act as a police force, and judiciary force, in monitoring the activities of everyone who uses their domain. This would cost companies billions in my opinion, and shut down any chance that small internet businesses could ever get off of the ground, us little people just simply do not have the funds or the time to do this.
Meanwhile, SOPA’s sister act, PIPA, actually calls for the establishment of a new police agency within the U.S. Government, that can deal with international internet crimes (internet crimes not being what it is today but what they wish to make it), and this additional police agency alone will cost more than 47 million dollars before 2016. Who do you think will have to pay for that? The Taxpayers! I can guarantee that the big companies and lobbyist pushing for this are not going to pay for it out of their pockets.
I highly oppose these acts! I have already written to my congressman expressing my opposition, and would encourage everyone to!
*From a class discussion in my IT-100 Course at SNHU.