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Stopping Online Piracy or Changing the Culture of the Internet?

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Date posted: January 18, 2012

Today (January 18th) Wikipedia and several other popular internet sites are going dark to show their opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) now under consideration by the House of Representatives, and to its sister bill, the Protect IP Act in the Senate.

The bills are attempts to give law enforcement and copyright holders new tools to stop piracy and theft of intellectual property like movies, music, and computer programs. Opponents fear that the proposed remedies will be an undue burden on them and will fundamentally change the open culture of the Internet.

Are laws such as these the right way to combat piracy, or are they both actions that try to shut the barn door after the last horse has already escaped? Neither do anything to address the fundamental problem that lies at the heart of widespread piracy, illegal copying, and file sharing. Over the past decade or more, a culture has developed that expects digital content to be free, and that sees nothing wrong with copying anything off the internet and sharing with others or using it without attribution.

Read more about this on my guest blog post at iKeepSafe.