Behind The Stop Online Piracy Act Bill (Sopa): Copyright, Censorhip, And Free Speech

1700 words - 7 pages

Behind SOPA: Copyright, Censorship and Free speech
At the beginning of 2012, a series of coordinated protests occurred online and offline against Stop Online Piracy Act Bill (SOPA) that expands U.S. law enforcement’s ability to combat online copyright infringement. As this protest involved many influential websites like Google and Wikipedia, it certainly draws national attention on SOPA. Whether censorship should be used online against online materials infringing property rights, as included in SOPA, is the controversial issue. Even though SOPA eventually was terminated by the Congress, things behind SOPA cause further debates. The relationship between censorship, free speech and copyrights in this bill is worth discussing. In SOPA, copyrights are enforced by censorship, but censorship at the same time violates free speech. Although SOPA’s online censorship on unauthorized online material is an effective method to protect internet copyrights, it resistants innovation and compromises freedom of speech.
SOPA aroused public attention from a wide range of protests though it originally aimed to help online business damaged by piracy. On January 18, 2012, websites like Google, Reddit, Wikipedia were all blackout and drew great public attention. According to the announcement left on Wikipedia’s website, they were in protest against Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which “has the potential to significantly change the way that information can be shared through the Internet.”(Wikipedia, 1) SOPA is designed to tackle the problem of websites that provide illegal download of pirated movies, music and other products. For websites consist of user upload materials like Youtube and Facebook, they are responsible for all the materials on their websites in SOPA. SOPA requires them to filter users’ materials before publish. If materials are copyright violated, they are not allowed to be seen publicly. Search engines like Google are asked to remove infringing materials’ URLs from their searching results. At the same time rights-holders are given exceptional power in SOPA. Right-holders, like Hollywood film studios, can ask to block a URL or even shut down the host website if they find copyright infringement on that website. Internet companies argued that such law enforcement is online censorship and tried to imply the entire online community would blackout after the approval of SOPA by blackout their websites 24 hours.
The most controversial part of SOPA is its mandatory filtering of materials uploaded by users, which is considered online censorship. Early in 1998 America adopted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, know as DMCA which criminalized unauthorized copy but also created a “safe harbors”. Safe harbors explicitly protected search engines and social networks from prosecution for users’ actions. (Herman, 73) In DMCA host websites are not responsible for users’ copyright violation behaviors and if host websites move users’ illegal materials online after...

Find Another Essay On Behind the Stop Online Piracy Act Bill (SOPA): Copyright, Censorhip, and Free Speech

The Church of Scientology: Copyright vs. Free Speech

1092 words - 4 pages The Church of Scientology: Copyright vs. Free Speech Abstract: In 1995, the Church of Scientology sued a number of parties, including the Washington Post, in an attempt to prevent the circulation of secret documents about the “religion.” This paper examines both sides of this issue, explores the implications to copyright law and the First Amendment, and describes the actual results of the case. The Church of Scientology is a global

Free Speech Online

1470 words - 6 pages bombing of Israel. She looked into it and found a disturbing post saying 'Nuke 'em'. Being a Jew this disturbed her very much so she decided to respond. Well, she tried to post her own response but all of her responses were sent back to her saying they did not agree with the topic and were unacceptable for Prodigy standards (Goldstein).The topic of free speech online may seem unimportant to you, but day by day this will affect your world more

Propaganda in the Online Free Speech Campaign, Propaganda and Mass Communication

5227 words - 21 pages , unlike other groups which are activists for several causes, CIEC has the one and only mission of challenging the CDA and does not claim to have any other purpose. Ideology and purpose behind the campaign There are several interrelated reasons motivating the online free speech movement. The most visual, and therefore one of the most obvious, reasons for the online presence of the free speech movement is to sign up new supporters. Current

Free Speech Online: Right or Privilege?

977 words - 4 pages Reject Law Mandating Internet Censorship in Libraries." 3 Mar. 2003. 12 May 2003 .Center for Democracy & Technology. An Overview of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) 12 May 2003. .Electronic Frontier Foundation. Internet Blocking & Censorware (Online Content Filtering/Labeling/Rating) 5 June 2001.12 May 2003 .Electronic Privacy Information Center. "Free Speech." Online posting. 8 April 2002. 13 May 2003 .Freedom Forum. "Judge frees man jailed for Web postings." Online Posting. 18 June 2002. 12 May 2003 .THOMAS Legislative Information on the Internet. The Bill of Rights. Oct. 16 1996. Apr. 13 May 2003 .

Investigation of Copyright Piracy and the Global Music Industry

3234 words - 13 pages used, like education books and journals will be used to write most of part in literature. Question will raised about the ethical attitudes of downloaders who are illegal, from the reviewed relevant theories of ‘consumer ethics’. Using this data base we can investigate about music industries in UK and other countries, which are highly affected by piracy. Also we can investigate the behavior of people behind forcefully breaking laws and doing illegal

Online Piracy: Threat to the Entertainment and Software Business

1597 words - 7 pages sales more competitive with the “free” offerings of piracy. As well as tying and online store to a software that manages music and playlists would likely increase sales. So the authors assume that a hardware associated with a particular software, like the popular iPod hardware and iTunes software combination of Apple Corporation may convey consumers with an easier, more trustworthy, and preferable alternative to online piracy. Companies will have to

Software Piracy and Copyright Laws: United States vs Vietnam

2951 words - 12 pages protect copyright with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA not only protects copyright owners, but it has been used to infringe on fair use and has promoted anti-competitive actions. Vietnam is on the other extreme. It has finally started to implement and enforce copyright laws, but due to cultural, economic, and legal views, it still has one of the highest software piracy rates in the world. Both the United States and Vietnam's

Software Patents, Copyright, and Piracy Issues in India

1521 words - 6 pages Software Patents, Copyright, and Piracy Issues in India Introduction India has developed enormously in the field of science and technology. Information Technology has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the country and a major contributor to the economy. India's economy has boomed over the past decade due to Government's initiates. With it vast pool of educated population and its leading presence in the Software arena India is fast

Copyright and the Internet

1417 words - 6 pages the first copyright law was passed it was called “The Statute of Anne” or “Copyright Law Act 1709”. This law gave authors the rights to their works rather than the printing companies, but it also limited the right to fourteen years for new and upcoming works, and twenty-one years for previously printed works, before they would enter the public domain (public documents that are free for all to use without permission). Over the years new laws were

Free Speech And Religion

1815 words - 7 pages not the suicide bombers in Israel. It turned into a high-spirited discussion, in which some Muslim students took exception and complained to the dean. As a result, the College suspended professor Kenneth Hearlson (NOW with Bill Moyers at         In a free and democratic society that values our freedom of speech and religion, what are we to do when the two come into conflict? Should we limit free speech when it

Free Speech and Pornography

638 words - 3 pages First Amendment protections were upheld in the case of Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844 (1997) (Reno, 1997). The Communications Decency Act of 1996 was found to violate the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech. In appealing the CDA, appellees were hoping that the court would determine that the CDA violated both First and Fifth Amendment rights. While the court agreed that the CDA violated First Amendment

Similar Essays

The Stop Online Piracy Act Essay

2024 words - 9 pages All of us know about the crimes committed every day by people all over the world. Theft, assault, grand theft auto, underage drinking, fraud, prostitution, and rape. But what about crimes on the internet? Last year, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) was introduced to the world. If this bill was passed, many sites would have to censor certain pieces of information, as well as remove a lot of the content already uploaded. SOPA would

Piracy Is A Problem, But The Stop Online Piracy Act Is Not An Answer

1862 words - 8 pages copyright. There are already laws in place to fight piracy, including the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) that was enacted in 1998. Though it has made an impression on stopping online piracy there are a couple of things that restrict the act; it only has jurisdiction on American websites and is outdated compared to our fast paced society.That is why in late 2011 the House of Representatives introduced the bill H.R.3261: Stop Online Piracy Act

Piracy Is A Problem, But The Stop Online Piracy Act Is Not An Answer

1411 words - 6 pages US-based internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent users from accessing foreign piracy websites and force payment companies or advertising companies to stop providing their services to piracy websites” (“Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)” 2). Those websites that do infringe copyright illegally would find themselves in court with fines from $200 to $150,000 per infringement. What makes the bill controversial is that it has a clause that can makes

International Copyright Vs. Online Piracy Essay

2103 words - 9 pages multimedia that corporations have to offer. Online piracy is the largest form of copyright theft. In order to find a solution to modern piracy, all countries involved have to reach a solution where their corresponding companies as well as their citizens are content. It’s an issue that involves anyone with internet access. Illegal file sharing has been a major global issue for over a decade, and despite all attempts to stop it; it has only grown