Posted on January 20, 2012


Wednesday was a crazy day on the internet.

Wikipedia went dark. Google blacked out their logo. Hundreds of smaller sites, including this blog, blacked out their content for 12-24 hours. Apparently, it was enough.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) have been tabled by Congress. SOPA may be dead.

If you want to know what was inherently wrong with these bills, click here. I will let the experts explain it.

Another big thing about Wednesday was the first tweet by Mark Zuckerberg since 2009, expressing his issues with SOPA. He is relieved that it is now dead in the water.

Basically, I look at it like this: The Motion Picture Industry and the Music Industry are freaked out because content is being ripped off by online sites overseas and Americans are able to download it for free. Congress decided to help. Good idea, right? Absolutely wrong. The best way to explain why it is wrong is the old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Is it wrong to pirate movies? Yes. But what is worse, pirating a movie or passing a law that would give the government and the entertainment industry control over what is put on the internet.

You may think I am overstating this. You may think that I am being dramatic. But, think about how many media platforms are linked now. Think of sites like Youtube and Facebook where people can share videos. These laws would, the way I understand it, not only take these images down (which they are able to do with existing laws), but also block the sites that host them. Search engines that do not block all pirate sites would be blacked out. Protecting intellectual property would be more important than freedom of expression or speech. Would that work in our world? I don’t see how.

I think the best commentary about SOPA came from Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.  Yes, he’s funny…but he makes a good point.

What do you think about this entire thing? Do you think that SOPA was an issue? Do you think it could have ended the internet as we know it?