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SOPA: Stop online piracy act

The internet is one of the most used and abused methods of communication today, as it brings enormous advantages to billions of users, it can also bring enormous disadvantages which can trouble billions of users also. That is why many are starting to introduce laws and regulation to suppress the abused being done to the internet, and SOPA or Stop online piracy act is one of them. In this article we will look into SOPA, what it is and how is will affect the internet as it gets implemented.

What is SOPA?

SOPA or Stop online piracy act is a bill introduced by Texas representative Lamar Smith to enforce U.S. legislation against copyright infringement and online piracy. Its basic principle is to prevent theft of intellectual property through piracy in the internet, and to promote the creativity, productivity, innovation and prosperity to entrepreneurs especially in the United States of America.

How SOPA works?

The introduced bill intends to stop online piracy by hunting and shutting down sites that posts pirated content. Upon confirmation of pirated content on any website, court orders will be issued to shut down the website and impose a fine and in worst cases have the website owner imprisoned.

How SOPA affects freedom of speech?

Many argue that SOPA can impede freedom of speech; websites such as Wikipedia have protested against SOPA and has displayed their reaction against the introduced bill.  SOPA protesters argue that using the provisions stated in SOPA, one can quickly shutdown sites that has the slightest hint of use of copyrighted material without any court hearing whatsoever. Protesters also states that SOPA allows whole domains be shutdown due to the mistake of a single blog or websites. This, they say will lead to the suppression of freedom of speech which is one of the foremost right every American enjoys.

They also fear that with United States’ spearheading this bill, many countries will follow suit and imposed more restrictive policies against use of intellectual property.

Conclusion

Freedom of speech and freedom of information is one of the bases of the American society. This amount of freedom can be and must be enjoyed by every American, but to what extent. Freedom achieved due to the absence of law is anarchy and is much more disastrous than tyranny, which is why true freedom is being governed by regulations that will impose freedom to every individual. SOPA is one of the laws being introduced to help a certain group of people, but as many shows; legislation must not be only for the good of a particular group of people but to all society as a whole.

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Simone Filippi è un SEO italiano, specializzato nella gestione e ottimizzazione delle strategie web marketing di siti web per i motori di ricerca.