Anti-Piracy and Liberty

Wired and Anti-SOPA
The bills SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), which are soon to be tabled in the US Congress, in their present form are dangerous and threaten to stifle free Internet by creating a China-like censorship regime. A screen grab of Wired magazine's landing page during the Anti-SOPA Blackout on Jan 18, 2012 is pictured on the left.

Having been loosely framed, these laws are ripe for abuse and can be misused by the government (the US Law Enforcement) to their advantage. For instance, if you were to copy paste a content from someone else's copyrighted article on a social networking site like Facebook or Google+, the laws allow the keepers to bring down down the entire site instead of targeting you, the offender. This means Facebook could go out of business just because of your one single infringed post. So, as you can see, SOPA/PIPA can really hamper free speech, innovation and growth of the Internet, and while ending piracy is very much welcome, it shouldn't be done at the cost of curbing and censoring the web.

In addition, these laws can set a terrible precedent; if in the event they get enacted in the US, there is every chance that other countries, like ours, will follow suit. Indian government has been already pressurizing the tech majors like Facebook, Google, Yahoo! to censor hate speech and laws like SOPA/PIPA will give further incentive for the government to target them. Hope the law makers carefully scrutinize every single aspect and a proper set of guidelines are established. Google's statement 'End Piracy, Not Liberty' pretty much sums it all!