- INTERNET FREEDOM: THE DEBATE ON CENSORSHIP
- The constitution and its stand on the bill of rights
- All citizens have a right to their freedom of speech, religion and press and therefore the debate on internet censorship contravenes these rights
- Bills such as SOPA and PIPA will limit the creativity as well as sharing of vital information among citizens (Bridy 4)
- Bills such as SOPA pose more harm than good to the entire populace because it gags people and they may not express themselves freely as they should.
- IMPLICATIONS OF INTERNET CENSORSHIP
- Blocking of the IP addresses of web pages may be ill advised and ill timed in this digital era
- Shutting down or censoring internet services will interfere with many job opportunities as very many young people
- Business people will have to adapt to the new guidelines and this will derail businesses and affect the way in which they operate.
- The entertainment industry will be the most affected more so because many of their clients download videos and songs online. This will mean that the country will be taken back to the era when videos and movies were accessed physically. Downloading makes things easier because anyone can access content at any time and from anywhere.
- PROS OF INTERNET CENSORSHIP
- It helps protect indigenous practices and cultures from receiving negative influences
- It prevents the spreading of ill effects of globalization on world societies
- It helps prevent vulgarity as well the spread of obscenity
- THE UNFAIR ONSEQUENCES OF SOPA
- All citizens can stand to lose as they may become victims of the penalties that have been stipulated (Meinrath & Ammori ). A good example can be seen through blogs; people will not download logo and have them put on their blogs without copyright permission. This is making things difficult and more complicated when they should become easier.
- People can be subjected to several years in prison under this bill. Besides imprisonment, there are fines that can be meted on those people who will break the rules
- THE SAD REALITIES OF INTERNET CESNSORSHIP
- The government of the United States of America and its entertainment, film and music industries stand to lose
- Filtering of software will lead to the blocking of some key words and information and hence it will become difficult to access the intended information or data
- The SOPA Bill and the whole debate of internet censorship downplay modern technology for example the ability to use tools, applications and software to censor what people can censor on their own. A good example is where parents can censor programs and material that their children can access in the internet (Espiniel, Copra & Schmidt 7)
- The Music and film industries could be taking their war too far because they have not adapted to the modern changes that have come with the internet era whereby, people can access what they want at any time and whenever they feel like it.
- SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM
- All internet users should be made to pay for the sites they would wish to access
- Businesses should meet the demands of their clientele and therefore make their conditions favorable and meet the expectations of their website visitors
- The law should be used against those people who infringe the rules of content usage and sharing and, therefore, everyone be made to obey the stipulated laws
- The SOPA Bill may help but it may have tough conditions to operate on and this may not benefit the business people and the clients as well.
- Restatement of the main points
Bridy, Annemarie. Copyright Policymaking as Procedural Democratic Process: A Discourse Theoretic Perspective on ACTA, SOPA and PIPA. 30 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 153 (2012)
Espiniel, Victoria, Copra, Aneesh & Schmidt, H. Comabting Online Piracy While Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet. Macon Philips. 2012
Meinrath, Sascha, & Ammori, Marvin. Internet Freedom and the Role of an Informed Citizenry at the Dawn of the Information Age. 26 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 921 (2012)