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iReporters are a diverse lot in almost every way, so there's not often a consensus among them when it comes to the issues of the day. But today might be the closest we've come to an exception: Much of the community is standing up to voice their objections to SOPA, a proposed law that seeks to clamp down online piracy.
It's not that iReporters are pro-piracy. But, like many people around the web, they feel that the legislation is too broad and threatens free speech. Writer and filmmaker Jeremy "Cougar" Littlefield of Broomfield, Colorado, explains:
"This is not about downloading illegal movies," he says. "This is about ownership of a free web.the modern age of how you communicate depends on it."
Egberto Willies elaborates on Littlefield's points in his video. The Kingwood, Texas resident argues that SOPA is just an excuse for corporations to use the government to gain power.
Corporations will "use government and the pretext of piracy to shut a site down" if SOPA is passed, he says. "The problem is that they need not actually do that, as just the threat and the potential legal costs and other ramifications will change behavior and force bloggers like myself and others to be very careful in not putting anything up that could be used as a false reason to shut down, however temporary."
Websites and bloggers who oppose SOPA for reasons like this are blacking out today to publicize their cause. Blacked out sites include Wikipedia, Wordpress, Tumblr and Craigslist, and even Google has blacked out its logo in solidarity. Time Warner, parent company of CNN, is among industry supporters of SOPA, along with organizations like the MPAA and RIAA.
iReporter John Becker, of Coral Gables, Florida, opposes SOPA for a different reason: "If you unleash SOPA," he says, "the hackers are going to unleash your worst nightmare."
Hackers have already found ways around today's blackouts, and Becker says they'll make online life miserable if SOPA is passed.
"You need to find a better way to stop pirating or else we're all gonna get screwed," he argues, noting that he already spends enough time fighting spam and viruses on his computer.
Despite the opposition to SOPA on iReport, some commenters on CNN.com say it's not as bad as it looks. Check out their arguments and learn more about the proposed legislation, and then let us know what you think.
This is a matter of GOVERNMENT CONTROL...Enough of the very few controlling our freedom and well being...Say NO and vote NO to any Internet restriction or control.
Maybe it is time to BOYCOTT CNN, the MPAA and all of those institutions who want to restrict our freedom…After all, they all need and depend on our money, and we don’t depend on theirs. As of today I am removing CNN as my Homepage, I will reset it to Google who is fighting for our Internet freedom.
Speaking from the UK, Americans have to recognise that this will affect the entire Internet as we know it. Why does the US Congress think they even have the right to change the very nature of the Internet for everyone in the world?
Best I can tell this will 'kill' 90% of online creativity. You would need to ask permission to use 'any' piece of existing media/intellectual property for creative purposes. Money in my pocket says most content owners will not give you such permission. DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO BURY THIS!
I do not care how much money various corporations are supposedly losing due to online activity, they are still making a ton more than online creators. No one who cares about the Internet wants SOPA to happen.
Internet is people themselves!
iReporters is just a hoot. Do these wannabes not realize it is a synergistic con by CNN in order to get free content and make viewers feel important so they ... tune in and keep coming back for more?
this legislation being debated by the same group of people that say the U.S. Government is incapable of doing anything right. the federal government cannot control wasteful spending, cannot run a home loan program, cannot run a post office, cannot efficiently run an agency that monitors our air, water and food. but CAN be trusted to oversee a program that, as pointed out earlier, will affect the entire western world. I mean, we all were aghast when Libya, Egypt, Syria all shutdown internet access so protesters in those could not send out images of government crackdowns. are we naive enough to think that the only use of this power will be to limit piracy of digital product?
SOPA is terrible. The government is trying to put these restrictions on the internet? Screw them! This is going to make things immensely WORSE not better whatsoever!
Support PIPA and SOPA, vote for a Republican or a Democrat, let the government decide for you
SOPA and PIPA will ruin America! The United States is known to have freedom. I understand using this act against pirated sites, but not for music copyrights! Music is the type of thing that fans should be able to listen to, use, and spread without getting into trouble. If the original artist would be mad that we used their songs in one of our videos then why even make the song at all? It should be made so fans can use it too as long as we dont profit money or harm the original artist. I think the SOPA and PIPA act is inconsiderate of how copyright really should work. It should only be illegal if the user does not pay for their music, not if we buy the music and use it online for let say a music video! My personal dream job is to become a video editor and without and music content that seems impossible. I am interested in many things involving music and it would crush me to have these two bills passed.
With all of the outspoken that has taken place over the past few months against all kinds of things including SOPA and PIPA and now do you think that the Gov is getting it? Maybe not, do not to let up!! If OWS took up their cause on the internet VS. hanging out in tents and parks, I think they would have done a better job. They still have to get their Sh$t together.
I don't mind internet restrictions! Somethings are better kept secret!
Go here for Breaking News
Hacktivists with the collective Anonymous are waging an attack on the website for the White House after successfully breaking the sites for the FBI, Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, RIAA and Motion Picture Association of America.
More to come...
If anyone asks yet again, why the OCCUPIERS all over the United States are protesting. Listen up!“You control our world. You've poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You've liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants... to your decadence. You've stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic human rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You've profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living(while lowering our wages). You've monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit...we are bleeding... but we ain't got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution! WAKE UP AMERICA! SUPPORT OCCUPY!
It is precisely a controll issue! First NDAA and now this! Anyone else scared by this! IM BOYCOTTING CNN! YOU SHOULD ALSO! DONT BUY MOVIE TICKETS! DONT SUPPORT THIS PEOPLE DURING THIS TIME!
To quote Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." That is what these bills (SOPA/PIPA) aim to do- sacrifice our first amendment rights, and sacrifice innovation and creativity, in favor of theoretical security that will harm more people than it will actually help.
IF this bill passes prepare for the largest hacker back lash in history. there is one thing they wont stand for and that is Internet censorship. As a Tech expert trust me when i say you who with to censor the web you have no idea what you are messing with. I know for a fact, becasue if I have thought of it someone else has also and already implemented it. Its called a dead man switch, and its so simple. So message to congress I DARE YOU, PASS THIS BILL. Watch as all hell breaks loose.
I think you've got this backwards. SOPA helps protect commerce on the Internet. Piracy is a threat to the Internet. There is a campaign of ignorance swamping this issue. People are playing into the hands of the con artists.
So you want to strike back at all the greedy and corrupt government and music and movie company’s going after your rights for dollars.
Step 1: for music don’t buy any music for one year or ever. It’s free on the radio.
They will get the point.
Step 2 : for movies wait until they come on cable or keep watching them online your choice.
They don’t care about you,
You have no job and you country is in a recession but the movie prices just went up. No one has had a raise in over 2 years but the rent and cost of living is still going up. I say keep your money in your pocket and prices WILL come down.
Step 3: for the greedy corrupt government that can be bought by any big company.
Not much you can do just bend over and take it.
Or stand up and say no when it’s time to vote. But here is how you do it.
Don’t go for left wing or right wing. Go vote for the guy with no money/funds or high backing because he/she does not want to play ball like the rest of the crooks put them in office and watch how they crap there pants.
Anonymous Goes on Megaupload Revenge Spree: DoJ, RIAA, MPAA, and Universal Music All Offline