Stop Online Piracy Act Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:


Objective argument: The Stop Online Piracy Act

The Internet has been called the new Wild West: there is a great deal of profit that can be made, in terms of availability of information, but there are also many hazards, due to the lack of regulation. One attempt to create a 'kinder, gentler' Internet is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The Act would create a kind of "national firewall by censoring the domain names of websites accused of hosting infringing copyrighted materials" (Losey & Meinrath 2011). Supporters of mainstream entertainment companies are strong supporters of the Act, which they hope will radically reduce the amount of pirated content available online. Copyright holders as well as the Department of Justice could 'take down' websites with an injunction, if there was evidence that the website was disseminating pirated content. If SOPA passes, it could enable the entire domain name of down based upon the copyright infringement of a single blog (and Tumblr hosts many, many blogs). The responsibility of website hosts would increase dramatically, and it would also be much more difficult for website venues to host various sources of content, because of the potential for their liability, should users accidentally or intentionally violate copyright laws.

The first criticism of SOPA is that it would effectively punish suspected infringers even before they received a fair hearing in court. "These shutdowns would happen before a site owner could defend himself in court -- SOPA could punish sites without even establishing whether they are guilty of the charges brought against them" (Losey & Meinrath 2011). Critics contend that the law provides no recourse for "legitimate sites that might get swept up along with the rogues" (Oremus 2011). Given that many legitimate hosting sites are run by small operators with little funding for legal counsel, SOPA could have a silencing effect upon many sites devoted to publishing legitimate materials with legitimate points-of-view. It could shut down sites, or could force site owners to engage in radical censorship of contributors, to avoid falling foul of the law.

Constitutional scholars have rallied against the law. "The law appears to disregard some of the 'safe harbor' provisions established in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which has protected sites such as YouTube as long as they take down copyrighted content upon request" (Oremus 2011). Opponents of SOPA argue that this provision of the 1998 Act provides enough protection for copyright holders. SOPA, in contrast, could theoretically suspend YouTube, based upon a disgruntled copyright holder, even before the case was finally decided by a judge or jury. Proponents of SOPA state that because the law deals with intellectual property, once the material has been released to the public on the widely-seen venue of the Internet, the damage has already been done. (However, as a practical matter, some copyright violators have looked the other way when their content is illegally broadcast, because of the positive publicity it garners for the artist).

SOPA has been called censorship and in violation of the First Amendment. It also requires Internet Service Providers (ISP) s to "prevent access to infringing sites by making efforts under order to block web browser requests for flagged domain names. The prospect of domain name system (DNS) blocking and filtering has alarmed some who believe it would be intrusive and undercut the secure structure of the Internet" (Gardner 2011). In other words, not only would servers have to police those who post on their own sites, they would have to ensure that their users did not include links to domains that disseminate potentially illegal copyrighted material. Service providers are obligated to "cut off access to pirate sites" (Gardner 2011). This is one reason that Google Executive Chairman said the bill would "criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself" (Gardner 2011). One of the most positive developments of the Internet has been to create connections between people through hyperlinking. If SOPA passes, it is difficult to see how links to other user's content would not be discouraged, except for major websites. Smaller websites that were unknown might not be linked to, simply because users would fear that they would be flagged for the ISP as a potential violator and linker to a private site.

One of the most controversial provisions of the Act is…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Stop Online Piracy Act" (2011, December 14) Retrieved December 6, 2016, from

"Stop Online Piracy Act" 14 December 2011. Web.6 December. 2016. <>

"Stop Online Piracy Act", 14 December 2011, Accessed.6 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Stop Online Piracy Act in

    Thus the workings of the bill should it become law could also be frustrated by numerous demonstrations carried out by Americans unhappy with the utilization of their tax dollars. Also, given other more important priorities, I doubt whether the government would be willing to expend enormous resources to make such a law fully functional. Hence in my opinion, resource constraints may end up frustrating SOPA's resolve to address online

  • Stop Online Piracy Act SOPA

    Stop Online Piracy Act One of the biggest challenges for a variety of firms is dealing with online piracy. Recently, Congress has been debating the different provisions of the Stop Online Piracy Act. This is a proposed regulation that is increasing the enforcement of existing copyright laws over the Internet. However, debate about the ethics surrounding the legislation has created tremendous amounts of animosity. To fully understanding what is happening, means

  • SOPA Stop Online Piracy Act Dear Congressman

    SOPA Stop Online Piracy Act Dear Congressman Owens (NY), The Internet was created by the United States of America's military in order to better communicate information between computers long distances apart without requiring physical connections; thereby creating a free and open space between the computers networked. This moment was the beginning of file sharing as it exists and is contested today. The Internet has clearly changed the way the entire world absorbs and

  • Against Anti Piracy Legislation the Stop

    The Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA), in particular, was pushed through the international legislative process with insufficient public input and opportunity to study and respond (Jolly, 2012). As a result, seventy-five law professors have signed an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama urging him to reconsider U.S. ratification; they have also suggested that there may be serious constitutional problems with his signing the treaty in its current form on behalf

  • Piracy Copyright Protection the Music Industry

    This education aims at stopping music piracy. Thirdly, there is the use of technology to stop piracy. This is quite difficult because the advancement in technology leads to advancement in the music piracy. However, knowledge in technology leads to the introduction and use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems. These systems limit the number of computer devices that can play a song. As a result, there is a reduction in

  • Moral Compass

    Piracy Over the last couple of years the issue of internet piracy has become extremely heated, both because piracy has become easier and copyright holders have become more determined to stop pirates. Because copyright holders like the movie and recording industry have money on their side, they also have the government on their side, earlier this year that combination resulted in the attempted passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or

  • SOPA and Pipa Legislation

    SOPA & PIPA Legislation File sharing involving copyright infringement began as peer-to-peer operations, sometimes with the involvement of a central server that acts as a search engine. Recently there has been a rise in file sharing where the infringing content is actually stored on the central server, such as the now-defunct Consequently, there is a conflict between the rights of content owners and the rights of ordinary users of the

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved