by Chris S
Recently, technology has progressed in a way that the law has not been able to keep up with it. Specifically, the internet has raised a lot of issues regarding problems such as piracy. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act are two bills that politicians are attempting to pass in congress to attempt to prevent online piracy. The problem is, these bills are more than just attempting to prevent online piracy, and instead threaten websites that feature user-generated content. Many websites would be effected negatively such as facebook.com and youtube.com. One company campaigning to make a stand is Riot Games, who are currently producers of League of Legends, a free online game. The act would affect the game in several ways, one, Streaming of online content would not be allowed and the game thrives on users logging in and streaming data in order to play the game. Second, the websites such as youtube would be at risk of shutting down because they stream content from games such as League of Legends and as well as others. Third, features such as online forums and chat services would be inhibited. Finally, these two acts raise issues regarding free speech and more importantly threaten our basic rights regarding the internet. Any violations would result in hefty fines for companies as well as the individuals breaking them.
These two acts are nice in theory, but in order to prevent online piracy other measures will need to be taken. I feel that attempting to prevent online piracy might be a waste of time, similar to the war on drugs. The DEA has been attempting to win the war on drugs for quite some time now and many can argue that they fighting a war that can’t be won. I feel that the issue with online piracy is the same and that individuals worldwide will find ways to pirate media online and distributed illegally. I feel that our technological rights need to protected and any restrictions placed on it are steps towards totalitarianism. I hope that these two acts do not pass because I would hate to see our rights restricted when it comes to the last place where people can actually express themselves freely.