Blogger Rosie Sparrow reflects upon piracy
“A lot has been going on in the states recently; many people aren’t interested in international news however this one could have impacted all our lives. A Republican U.S Representative Lamar Smith introduced the “SOPA”. Now on the surface a Stop Online Piracy Act may sound like a good thing, as it’s protecting the film and music industries however it wouldn’t just be attacking those websites. It was looking to shut down anywhere that would have any kind of pirated products whether that’d be songs, films or even pictures and information.
When this was introduced it was also introduced with PIPA (Protect IP Act) in order to raise awareness. As soon as internet organisations such as Google and Wikipedia heard of this they didn’t waste any time in alerting the public of the outrageous outcomes that would follow if the act was passed. All of its users quickly started sending letters to their congressmen and doing anything they could in order to prevent the bill from being passed.
On the 18th January 2012 Wikipedia and many other websites all came together and had a 24-hour blackout in order to show the world what it would be like if SOPA came into action. Many people panicked and many teachers were angered the next morning when they found that essays they had asked their students to write had not been written. It didn’t just affect students globally but adults who research a lot in their careers have also experienced a lot of problems. Google also contributed to the blackout by collecting over 7 million signatures from many users and companies that would boycott the act.
After all this happened, on the 20th January, Lamar Smith announced that he was going to postpone the bill until the necessary adjustments had been made in order to reach an “agreeable solution”. Worldwide people were celebrating this triumph, causing “SOPA is Dead!” to trend on Twitter. Internet companies are telling people not to give up the fight as they’re all aware that the battle has been won for now but there still may be a war to come.