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We Love Your Songs.com


26th Jan

What lies beneath SOPA?


stop sopa

SOPA and PIPA were put to rest early this week after the fall of MEGAUPLOAD and the extreme opposition of sites like Google, Facebook and Wikipedia. Nonetheless, its shadow remains present, and likely to come back at any time to disturb internet’s main nature-, freedom of speech, a context in which today’s generation has been born and raised.

There were many videos circulating trying to explain what lies beyond this act and why it is a direct threat to our freedom. One of the best examples is this one: http://gu.com/p/34aqv.

But why are SOPA and PIPA so dangerous for us? Well, first of all because they change the liability rules around copyright infringement. Before, under 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act websites that allowed their users to upload content were protected of any charges regarding piracy as long as they kept their eyes open against infringing content, removing it from their site. But now, SOPA substantially alters this system, and the companies can be held responsible for whatever is in their domains. Somehow that measure will seem logical for many people, but if we think on how we deal with the Internet nowadays, this is plain and simple a back step for us. Users couldn’t be anymore the creators of websites like Wikipedia, or Youtube as those companies would have to return to a model of editing everything before publishing to protect themselves from any legal action. Webs like us, at weloveyoursongs.com may be obligated to change all the process that makes us who we are, since  the worth of our site lies on the will of our users to share their work through us. With SOPA we would have to be the main character in a process in which we don’t want to have any protagonism, because as long as we can be proud of ourselves, YOU, and not us, are the artists who create this site.

Along with us, if SOPA revives, there is many small business, NGOS, and even educational sites that would be obligated to review its mechanisms, something that can be very expensive for sites with limited resources.

Finally, I would like to throw out an open question to the United States Congress (even if I’m pretty sure they will never hear about it). Do you, ladies and gentlemen really believe that someone can stop free share in Internet? Because you can win a battle, but in my modest opinion you cannot win a war in a virtual territory that no one can conquer, as its ways and possibilities are beyond anyone can imagine (you can ask the Vietnamese government about how his population takes the piss at his boycott of websites like Facebook changing their DNS). The human race has always survived history adapting themselves to the new realities, those in favor of SOPA may want to take a serious look to the world we live in, where internet changes and expands every second, then they may find that the best way is not to fight future or the inevitable, but to learn how to live and deal with it.


Article written by Cristina Torres, a new London based contributor to our blog.  You can follow her on Twitter at @cristorresfer.

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