SOPA bill must be reevaluated

Jacqueline LeBlanc


Jacqueline LeBlanc
The author the day learning of the coming SOPA vote.
I am a user of Wikipedia. Even when my teachers stand in front of class and strictly warn us against the use of the online encyclopedia, my first resource is always Wikipedia. I use Wikipedia for everything, whether it be school projects or finding out whom Jake Gyllenhaal is currently dating.
I was on Facebook when I first heard of Wikipedia shutting down. After Google-ing the reason for the temporary shutdown, I discovered it was in disapproval of Congress’ attempts to pass SOPA and PIPA bills. Wikipedia, along with many other websites, had agreed to shut down for one day as a form of protest.
The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and its Senate companion, the Protect IP Act, were proposed with the intention of strengthening and preventing piracy on the Internet. If passed, the government would be allowed to shut down websites including Facebook and YouTube that contained copyright infringement.
As a high school junior, I’m not afraid to admit that my computer is always on those three sites.  I keep in touch with my friends on Facebook, discover new music on Youtube, and Wikipedia allows me to research new subjects. Businesses in support of SOPA, such as the Motion Picture Association of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, believe innovation and jobs are threatened by growing internet piracy, but piracy is never going to seize.  Businesses believe posting copyrighted material on popular sites will hurt their ability to make money; however I believe the opposite. 
Posting videos or songs on sites such as Facebook does not hurt business. It provides free advertisement and publicity.  The majority of Wikipedia users know some material on the site is altered; however, Wikipedia provides a general overview or summary of the subject and has a large number of users. 
Material on these sites is not used to intentionally make profit.  No one pays to use Wikipedia or to use Facebook, or to post videos on Youtube.  No one makes money off of their one million views video.  These posts only provide business for movies that are making money because someone saw the trailer on Facebook.  Record companies receive millions of dollars because their new act’s song is going viral on Youtube.  
But the irony of SOPA and PIPA is that businesses in support don’t realize is that it would not stop pirating websites that’s main purpose is to make profit off of copyrighted material.  These websites will simply change their website and web address and continue their illegal activities.
Granted, the Senate is only attempting to stop criminal activities and save some of America’s biggest businesses, but SOPA and PIPA is not the way to do it.  Instead of focusing on the internet’s most populous sites that provide benefits for both people and businesses, the Senate and the Web should be more concerned about the sites that are intentionally committing the crime. 
The Senate will vote soon.  If you are like me, and cannot imagine an afternoon after a long day of homework and cannot go on your favorite social media site, or listen to music or interesting videos contact your congressman and let your voice be heard.
Just look below. I’ve made the first contact easy for you.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer [R, MO-9]
Sen. Roy Blunt [R, MO]
Twitter: @RoyBlunt
Sen. Claire McCaskill [D, MO]
Twitter: @clairecmc