In many countries, government come up with a strategy to prevent copyright infringement by blocking website that involving in illegally sharing files to public. The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Protect Interectual Property Act (PIPA) are the US bills that manage this problem. The process of prevent copyright infringement started when SOPA shut down the website named “Megaupload” which is file-sharing website. The site’s founder was chared with violating piracy law (Perry, 2012). The following consequence is that lots of websites including wikipedia and google took part in the protest against SOPA.
Why did they do that? The question was appeared with many arguement that mainly focus about blocking website is the suitable strategy against infringement, or not?. I believed that this policy is useless and unnecessary. The first reason that support my arguement is the wrong solution to prevent piracy. The SOPA tries to block the sites that containing unauthorised copyright material. The result affected to many website that may be cosidered to infringe copyright. It leads those websites to took part in protest. Some sites took their homepage offline.
Some site such as wikipedia shut down themselves for 24 hours, and the homepage came up that statement said that “ Imagine a world without free knowledge”. Jimmy Wales, co-founder of wikipedia, express his opinion toward the SOPA that blocking websites is that wrong approach to the solution. He said “The right approach is to follow the money. To go after the people who are engaging in large scale criminal enterprises rather than burdening the entire internet with a regime that doesn’t have very much promise of working. ” (Wales, n. d. ). The other thing to be cosidered is the freedom of expression.
When The SOPA blocked some sites that contain information that can be benefitial to public, it is also considered to be obstruction of freedom of knowledge and expression. Because nowadays Internet is the most impotant source of information. Moreover, in term of freedon of expression, it is a part of the First Amendment of the United States of Constitution which protects the right of freedom of expression without goverment intervention. Therefore, bill that contradicts to the First Amendment (Tribe, n. d. ). For this reason, blocking website can be considered to be in this case.
In the debate on the controversial SOPA, Mitt Romney said that the law (SOPA) is intrusive and threatening the freedom of expresstion. He also said “It would have a potentially depressing impact on one of the fastest growing industries in America, which is the Internet and all those industries connected to it. ”. His speech is completely against the SOPA. If that kind of sites were blocked, let imagine how can we live without knowledge (Romney, 2012 ). The other reason that support my opinion against SOPA is about Domain Name System. Domain Name System (DNS) is the main system that make Internet function.
When SOPA blocked a website by blocking DNS, it can damage security of the Internet. Because the websites are blocked inside the country, criminals will try to find the way to access the website outsite the country and use illegal way to let others people access it. People who do not like limitation of SOPA will start using DNS outside country. It fractures the global DNS hierachy. Moreover, it is not only affect to websites, but also affect to user. When the website are limited ability or blocked, the user will recieved negative impact. Therefore, SOPA could threaten Internet function and security (Ferguson, 2012).
Blocking website is completely useless strategy to prevent infringement. Although there are lots of websites that involve in illegally sharing free documents, but not all of them intend to do it. Goverment cannot assume that all of them are illegal. Some of them shares free files for profit and business, but some are not. Moreover, blocking sites cannot solve this problem at all. Government think that SOPA can stop this problem, but they never think what happen afterward. The result has already been shown up. The protest against SOPA was occured which is the failure of the attempt of government.
Furthermore, If thy can shut down one website, there would be more websites appear. They can stop function of website, but they cannot stop people break the law. Apart from wrong solution of prevent piracy, blocking website also block the access of knowledge. Let imagine that all of information that we want was kept in internet and we cannot get them unless we pay for them, especially only one sorce of information. If one of them cost 3 U. S. dollar, and we need ten of them for only one work, it is very expensive for only school work. Eventhough, students use them not for profit, but for studying.
I understand that students can study further with purchased information, but if they let all of information for free, it will be more convenient for students. In term of DNS, I think that it is completely worthless to use this method solving piracy on Internet. Blocking DNS is not the same as shutting down websites which both of them are useless. Moreover, blocking DNS is worse. It can only prevent access inside the country, but not outside. Somehow, people try to access outside the country which is outside the scope of law. It will become a new problem for government.
Let think that every people tend to use website outside the country. The consequence of that situation is that government cannot control anymore. Infringement cannot be stopped, moreover it becomes more and more. On the other hand, some people will not agree with me. They say that “blocking website is the best way to prevent infringement. ” They also said that “free-sharing website is unfair to the copyright holder”. The statement is also very unfair to users. If every copyright holder think that everyone have to pay for the information that they want.
There is no free information in the Internet. I think that it will limit the access of knowledge. For example, wikipedia is the free online encyclopedia that let every people share, correct, and edit the information as they want. It focuses on the freedom of knowledge more than the profit of company. Therefore, people can use wikipedia for free. Althought, wikipedia take a risk to copyright infringement, but for their benefits that give to public, it shows that usefulness is more important than profits. Moreover, many students can use wikipedia for further study which can help society to develop.
If there was no wikipedia, the development of society would be slow becasue it was blocked by accessing information that require payment. Some people will say that “the websites that commit copyright infringement thwart the profit of company who hold the right. ” Many company lose their profit because there are many illegal way to get product without payment. This problem is easy to solve. However, SOPA do not concern about the purpose of free-sharing file. Copyright holder always think that website that illegally shares files freely for profit.
In fact, there are many people who share files including video, music, information for the purpose of entertainment and study. They do not use that thing for any profits. For example, when we share any information that is considered to infringe copyright on Facebook or Youtube, that information might be deleted. The purpose is missed. The information that we share is for communicate idea and share the knowledge to social, not for own benefits. Therefore, SOPA is not a good way for prevent piracy unless it will be specific on the purpose of infringement.
In conclusion, the strategy to prevent copyright infringement, blocking website, cannot be trusted by many people. The bill, SOPA, was disagreed by public because it obstructs the freedom of expression, it is not the right solution, and it breaks the DNS hierarchy.
Reference Cornell University Law School. (n. d. ) First Amendment. Retrieved from http://www. law. cornell. edu/wex/first_amendment Ferguson, P. (2012, December 16). Unintended consequences: How sopa could threaten internet security . Retrieved from http://blog. trendmicro. com/trendlabs- security-intelligence/unintended-consequences-how-sopa-could-threaten- internet-security/
Perry, N. (2012, January 20). Popular file-sharing website megaupload shut down. USAToday. Retrieved from http://usato day30. usatoday. com/tech/n ews/s tory/ 2012-0 1-19/megaupload-feds-shutdown/52678528/1 Romney, M. (2012, January) SOPA is The Threat to Freedom of Speech. Retrieved from http://mashable. com/2012/01/19/sopa-threat-freedom/ Tribe, L. (n. d) The “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) Violates The First Amendment Wales, J. (2012, January 18). Wiki founder Jimmy Wales on SOPA debate. Retrieved from http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/technology-16604990.