I strongly oppose SOPA and PIPA as they represent a big step towards Internet censorship in America. The United States government currently censors content in schools and libraries – they have filters used for blocking certain websites due to their obscene/pornographic nature; I agree with this type of censorship as it helps to protect our young children. Other than those filters, the American government doesn’t censor the Internet – nor should it.
Authoritarian governments, such as China, see the massive power the Internet has, so they limited it as a means of controlling its people. That is why when things get dicey, authoritarian governments just flip the kill switch and start turning off parts of the Internet. That’s what happened during the protests in Egypt in January 2011. In America, I hope that the Internet remains uncensored to ensure our First Amendment right of freedom of expression remains protected. The First Amendment guarantees the creation of any US laws against freedom of speech or of the press. Basically this means individuals can legally express themselves anyway they want without the government saying otherwise. SOPA and PIPA would circumvent these first amendment rights and ultimately fail to do what it was created to do – enforce copyright licenses. While the rights of copyright owners do need to be protected, SOPA and PIPA are not the answer.
What do you think is the answer to enforce copyright licenses?
PS – Kudos to Wikipedia for taking a stand and blacking out their site down for entire day to protest this.