Showing posts with label Freedom of Speech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Freedom of Speech. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SOPA adjust maadi [30/365]

January was exciting. What with hundreds of people dying in Syria, people quitting, people getting thrown out of office, people being banned from coming to their home country, and then the magnum opus - SOPA. Whew!

For those who came in late, SOPA (acronym for Stop Online Piracy Act) is a piece of legislation that was introduced by the Republicans in the US Senate, that would give the American Justice system and the law enforcement wide ranging capabilities to fight any online piracy of copy-written/counterfeit goods (read Music, Movies, Books et al). Passing this bill would have meant that American courts could bar companies from advertising or sponsoring or in any way conducting any business with websites that break this law. This besides from also requiring search engines from indexing the webpages and ISPs block any access to the infringing sites. Simply put, the Internet would be censored and be as boring as watching Indian movies on TV.

Now, while the supporters of this bill say this could mean the end to copy-write violations, they also state this could protect intellectual property of smaller artists besides revenue besides strengthening the existing copy-write laws.
Opponents of this bill however point out at that this could mean the end to free speech and creativity online.
As a way to protest against SOPA, the English version of Wikipedia and about a thousand other websites that regularly feature such material or are dependent on revenue from advertisements staged a worldwide blackout.
That was Sathyagraha 1.0. Now, we are truly in the 21st century.

Without delving into details of how the rest of the fight went, I can say that SOPA will not be the last attempt at muffling our voices. I bet it existed even amongst Cave men. Or did it? Maybe it only started when we gained intelligence and became self conscious. Leaders that we elected became wary of what we thought, spoke and wrote. (aka Kapil Sibal)

You'd think that colorful instances of how freedom always won over oppression would've taught these men (and women) in power a lesson or two. But nay. Like they say, like a dog to it's vomit, history will spank the leaders who try to repeat the sins of absolute power.


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