Does the entertainment industry have reason to complain?

// Posted by on 01/20/2012 (11:58 PM)

The backlash over SOPA/PIPA is nothing new, however it seems to be the most potent protest that internet copyright laws have seen. To fully understand what the entertainment industry is asking it would seem logical to mention and explain the current copyright laws. Laws include the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and the No Electronic Theft Act

The DMCA says

  • It is a civil offense if you even try to bypass copyright devices
  • Harsher penalties for copyright infractions
  • Illegal to make technologies capable of pirating videos (even if that is not the intention of the device)
  • Holds users responsible, not Internet Service Providers(ISP)
    • However, the ISP must immediately block access to the content in question. Otherwise they can be held responsible


  • ISPs will also be held accountable for what their users post
  • If copyrighted information is sent your access to the internet could be cancelled
  • To prevent the above monitoring of those who purchase copyrighted material will be increased
  • Purchased content under copyright cannot be shared with anyone since you are the only one who paid for it.
  • Applies in the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea.


  • Allows for criminal prosecution of individuals who have infringed on a copyright regardless of whether or not it has been used for financial gain. (5 years in prison/$250,000 in fees)

Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect IP Act

  • Anyone found streaming copyrighted content without permission 10 or more times within six months should face up to five years in prison.
  • Websites could be sued for “enabling or facilitating” piracy. Which is where the risk of an entire website being shut down is found because it contains a link to a suspected site.
  • Advertisers could be outlawed from doing business with alleged copyright infringers. SOPA also calls for search engines to remove infringing sites from their results, PIPA does not include this
  • Outlaw sites from containing information about how to access blocked sites.

So, the internet changing as we know it may not be such an outlandish claim. The interesting thing is that most of the entertainment company’s copyright issues are with websites run in foreign countries. Call me crazy but I don’t think our laws apply in foreign countries making all of this a moot point in the first place. Granted, theft in any case needs to be dealt with but these laws are the wrong way to go about it as puts our freedom of speech at too great a risk. Plus, the legal actions to be taken when copyright is infringed upon, are already quite effective at both removing content and punishing those who broke the law they just need to be enforced, megaupload being a prime example. It may be frank to say but, it seems that the entertainment industry needs to suck it up and stick with the protective laws they already have and leave the freedom of the internet alone.

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gokkasten said...


This actually answered my problem, thank you!…

// 01/22/2012 at 3:05 pm

Georgeanna said...

Hey, i like this so much thanks you.

// 01/23/2012 at 12:18 pm

Cameron said...

Kelsey, I appreciate much of what you have to say. Based upon the definitions you provide, I agree that PIPA (Protect IP Act) and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) do not appear to do anything different than the existing laws, but it makes me wonder whether they are effective, if PIPA/SOPA do something more, or if they are simply just more laws exactly the same. Since I do not know too much on this topic, I decided to do some research.

This past week, while many were focused on PIPA/SOPA, the current laws were used to allow for the seizure of MegaUpload, the 72nd most popular site in the world according to Alexa’s List of top 500 websites. I agree that the current laws in place seem sufficient (and clearly were for the seizure of Megaupload), but why should these new laws be passed?

In a recent article in PC World PC World, there is a very clear explanation of PIPA/SOPA. These two bills will allow the U.S. Department of Justice to seek court orders to demand that service providers block infringing sites. This would not allow the Department of Justice to delete these foreign sites, but would simply block them in the United States.

The two bills: PIPA and SOPA, will allow the US government to have the ability to ban foreign websites in the US, something that until this point, they have had little to no control over. The current laws are satisfactory (and still effective, as seen with Megaupload), but they have no influence to websites outside out borders. If Congress to work on the wording of these bills so that the American people will not worry about losing such sites as Wikipedia, blogs, and many others, I believe that these bills will prove to be beneficial, but until then, I am sure we will be hearing much more about them.

// 01/24/2012 at 12:06 am

Kelsey said...

I do not think that these laws should be passed in their current form, the features are strikingly similar to current laws and its phrasing is much too vague. As it was said by Rep. Jason Chaffetz(R-Utah), “Maybe we ought to ask some nerds what this [bill] really does,” in other words we need some experts in Congress to explain the problem and how to effectively change SOPA and PIPA to protect both the entertainment business as well as the freedom of the internet that we enjoy.

// 01/24/2012 at 2:04 pm

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// 01/25/2012 at 3:47 am

Lisha said...

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// 01/27/2012 at 11:00 pm

Kelsey said...

To Lisha/Bed Bugs Houston/Georgeanna/Gokkasten- Thanks for your encouragement! It’s most appreciated!

New development- An article in the New York Times reported on how quickly the internet community came together to summarily keep SOPA/PIPA from being passed as they are. There is mention of ACTA(Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) in this article check it out, I’m curious what you all think, will ACTA be next?

// 01/28/2012 at 3:32 pm

Kelsey said...

Here is the link to the NYT article, for some reason it didn’t imbed in my last comment.

// 01/28/2012 at 3:33 pm

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// 02/12/2012 at 10:20 pm