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SOPA and PIPA Bills are Tabled, But the Media Remains Supportive Of Them

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Last week, Congressman Lamar Smith tabled his infamous Stop Online Piracy (SOPA) bill. Senator Harry Reid announced that the vote for the just-as-awful Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) would be postponed.

These bills (did I mention that they’re pretty terrible?) have not been abandoned, but merely placed on the back burner after an internet protest stop sopalast Wednesday that featured blackouts from notable websites such as Wikipedia, Reddit, and Mozilla and “strikes” from Google and Craigslist.

Even webcomics and porn sites had banners talking about how SOPA and PIPA posed a threat to the wonderful creation that is the internet. If you’re interested in seeing who all signed on in opposition to SOPA/ PIPA, there is a list of a lot of sites who did something last week.

To give a little recap about what these bills would do to wreak havoc on the web, here are the basics. Under the guise of protecting intellectual property from being ravaged by online piracy, the U.S. government would stick its nose in and regulate one of the most beautifully complex and spontaneous things ever – the internet. Bureaucrats would have the power to fine and SHUTDOWN websites that illegally host copyrighted images.

Now this does not only include your run of the mill torrent sites or websites that cater to streaming movies that are in theaters, but these bills target any Lamar Smith Congressman Texaswebsite that has any sort of copyright infringement. YouTube, Google, Reddit, and pretty much every blog could be shut down if someone were to point out any sort of copyright. Any website would be susceptible to that! Even Congressman Lamar Smith violated copyright laws when he used an image on his website without the artist’s permission.

Now, on the one hand it is important to credit people for their work. It is important that intellectual property and property rights are protected. What is batsh#t insane is giving the Federal government the power to shutdown websites! The internet is one of the freest things we have and without it we would never even have heard about SOPA or PIPA. (BTW, this is the part in the article where I’ll be trashing about the mainstream media).

Nancy Grace is too concerned about little Caylee Anthony; ABC is too worried about Newt Gingrich’s wives; MSNBC, Fox, and CNN are too worried about Republicans. Everyone is too worried about the same old thing to care about something that would truly be a blow to first amendment freedoms. The only reason this got mentioned anywhere by the mainstream media was that these websites put this information up. Way to go TV news, the internet did your job better than you.

These bills posed such a threat to the internet, not just in the US, but the world, and no station was willing to cover it. It shouldn’t be a surprise. Walt Disney, who owns ABC, and NBC Universal, who own MSNBC are both supporters of SOPA and PIPA. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart did a segment about these bills, but Jon Stewart was carefully choosing his words since Viacom and Time Warner are also both supporters of SOPA and PIPA.

It’s unfortunate that these bills were considered. It’s unfortunate that they haven’t been killed. And it’s especially worse that the media won’t report on anything that would have a SERIOUS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES (speaking of which, has anyone heard anything on the National Defense Authorization Act being reported on the news?). I guess we’ll have to keep getting our information from the internet – unless idiots in government take it away.

Here is a list of companies that supported SOPA and PIPA

Here is a list of all the anti-internet people in government who co-sponsored these bills

 

 

Robert Clemmer earned his degree in History and Classical Studies at Hampden Sydney College. Before moving to Lancaster, he specialized in state policy in Washington DC while working for a center-right political advocacy organisation. Job offers, comments, questions and baked goods can be sent to clemmer.robert.j@gmail.com

 

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Photo of Lamar Smith from gamepolitics.com

Stop SOPA photo from ibtimes.com

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