You Wouldn’t Steal a Movie? SOPA

February 9, 2012

Unfortunately I can say I have searched, downloaded and streamed illegal movies and music. The good thing I can say is I stopped about two years ago. The number reason one why I stopped because I received a lot of viruses on my computer. Number two was because I heard of people downloading music illegally and getting caught and subsequently fine. Lastly downloading illegal music took up a lot of space on my computer making my computer slower.

It wasn’t until January 18, when I saw on Facebook everybody’s status that I discovered SOPA or Stop Online Piracy Act. I didn’t know what SOPA was and the first thing I do when I’m unsure of something is Google it. That day when I went to Google there was a black box covering the Google’s logo on the homepage. I also noticed that the Wikipedia website was shut down for the day in support for the SOPA act.

As I began researching and reading, I realized all of those years that I illegally downloaded music, pirated movies and TV shows how wrong it was. To be frank, I didn’t know at the time how wrong and illegal it was. That is because to me it was so easy to find an illegal movie or TV show to stream. In fact, it was so easy that all I had to do was Google it and several links would show me the correct link. Also many times it was word of mouth, for instance whenever a friend discovered a  new website that allowed online streaming of movies or downloading music and it always spread like wildfire.

In my mind I thought something so easy, so accessible wasn’t harmful or couldn’t be illegal. Now having read several articles, I realize how out of control online piracy is and has been over the past couple of years. All I could picture while reading the SOPA articles were the hundreds of websites that I use see and download illegal music or stream illegal movies.

Also it made me think of an Anti Piracy AD that the movie theaters use to play right before the start of the movie. At the end of the AD it said ‘you wouldn’t steal a movie.’ I guess I never really understood that AD until I got older because I thought stealing a movie was stealing a DVD or videotape from a store. But having read several articles on SOPA from The Washington Post and Huffington Post  that I was indeed stealing. This is since even though I wasn’t physically stealing, I was stealing online since I was taking money away from the copyrights of the movies and music.

There are many concerns people have with SOPA and once is that SOPA wants to censor the internet to the entertainment world. Protect IP gives the government to shut down infringing websites. But a lot of people think that it won’t stop online Piracy. People can still download since people can just type in the IP Address and not the title. Also SOPA can target big websites like iCloud, tumblr if the websites don’t monitor enough piracy. Lastly corporations already have tools fighting piracy.

With SOPA, a lot of internet users think that it will threaten and harm the stability of the internet since it could make people abuse the website even more subsequently making the internet even less safe.

The recent action on SOPA was in January the SOPA Bill was postponed by Senate. Since then I have noticed a lot of websites that I use to go on is now no longer available.  The next question is how long will this last and can they continue to monitor and shut down illegal domains. It seems like an impossible task but so far it seems the they are taking are the right ones because it seems to be working.




One Response to “You Wouldn’t Steal a Movie? SOPA”

  1. stevejfox Says:

    Melissa —

    Interesting post. Please add links into the post itself. Also, you have a couple of style errors, make sure to consult your AP Stylebook!


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