Anti-piracy acts draw protests across the Internet

Trina Kim, Copy Editor

On Jan. 10 at midnight, 7,000 websites went on a 24 hour blackout strike.  Wikipedia, Reddit and other websites closed down their resources to protest against two bills: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

Surprising, the most reputable site did not join the blackout.  Google did support the anti-piracy protest, but did not shut down.  Instead, they blacked out the homepage name, not willing to sacrifice a day of profit.

“I did go on Google and I noticed that it was censored,” senior Anayeli Carrillo said.  “That’s how I found out about it.”

The acts were designed to restrict “pirates” from downloading or streaming films, televisions shows, ebooks and music from illegal sites.   In the eyes of the public, both bills are viewed as a threat, impeding upon the right of free speech and expression.

The bills have started protest mobs in major cities like New York and Washington D.C due to the huge impact of the web. The Internet has become a part of everyday life, influencing and shaping the lives of the people.  It is the place where individuals can share and learn without the interference of the government.

“Suddenly, people want to censor the web which is an invasion of privacy,” junior Esther Chung said.

“And that is a violation of human rights,” sophomore Jane Yang said.

While SOPA and PIPA would decrease copyright infringements, the bills are vague solutions which many doubt will stop online piracy and, instead, will just lead to online censorship.  While this may stop many illegal actions, many believe that the bills are doing more harm than good.

“I disapprove of [the bills] because I believe it is unconstitutional,” Carrillo said.  “We have the right to see what we want to see.”