SOPA PIPA and wiki blackout!!

The news today states the wikipedia blackout in protest of the SOPA and the PIPA- the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. The two laws are in discussion with the purpose of introducing the internet censorhip. The bill is a further development form the closure of the one popular torrent site- mininova. Oh how I miss the mininova. It was the one source of all the files I ever wanted to download- softwares, movies, wallpapers and so forth.

The closure of mininova did ring in some fears into all of us for the very idea of one source of free stuff cut down meant a lot of trouble especially for the movie and the TV series lovers like me. Well it was a little strange that a move like that didnt manage to make a huge impact on the other sites. The mininova’s dependence is now shifted over to the pirate bay and it is doing the job in a fairly decent manner. I do not miss the mininova much of late.

As for the new PIPA and the SOPA, the move is largely in favour of the media industry which has been at the receiving end and bearing a brunt of losses cos of the internet piracy. Imagine the priced audio cd’s and collections being out there in the torrents as a free material! It is a heart rending sight for the industry which does all the work to release a product and to see that it is out there for free. In other words, all the effort gone in to making the product goes in as free water on a downhill slide.

On the front, it does look like a policy aimed at purely the online piracy. But it certainly seems to extend to the counterfeit consumer goods and medication. From the macro economic point of view, the patents come into picture and when we talk about the patent, the one most blatant fear is of the pharma industry. We are aware of the tussle with the TRIPS and India and especially the pharma industry outside India. The western countries conveniently believe in the concept of product patent which means there is no reverse engineering to realize the same end product. This is a sane move with the media, softwares, etc in mind. But consider and industry like the pharma on which the entire world is dependent for its existence. Imagine a pharma industry shelling out money for the patents and this does come to bite us back as the increased price of the drugs. I have always carried the belief that the patent should be exempt atleast on the factors on which life all over depends so heavily. There is no point in trying to afford extremely expensive drugs just cos the patents want to come to the limelight. Maybe there is a way to bring in a balance so as to the people and their intellect responsible for the product are duly respected and all the same.

Coming back to wiki’s opposition, I am in total support of the move. Media and journalism has always believed in the concept of free and fair information. The SOPA and the PIPA cover up the free part of the information which is a dangerous thought. It is a little hard to imagine life without wiki and the SOPA PIPA probably have a certain few changes to make, not to the internet world but to the very bill themselves 😉 ..


6 thoughts on “SOPA PIPA and wiki blackout!!

  1. Vinay says:

    Well taking this as an isolated issue, it is an interesting move from the US considering the view of the author/researcher so that it gives sufficient incentive for a person wanting to market his skills. But such a thing would not have the same impact on a country like ours. Here things work a little differently than the west. Either ways. the move to block it still is a concerning one cos right to proper information comes into question. It makes sense to block the torrents, but atleast the info should be kept out of the purview of the bill.

  2. We must anti SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and Protect IP (PIPA). They want to destroy Google, Facebook, Twitter, Hulu and Blog also. We’ll lost more than 70% website/blog around the WorldWideWeb! Join Us to Anti SOPA and PIPA!

  3. GB says:

    A successful democracy thrives when there is a free flow of information in the system. Information flow is possible only through free knowledge – the motto of Wikipedia. Lack of information not only makes us ignorant, but also subject to oppression. Torrents, apparently infringing copyrights, are in fact just involved in ‘sharing’ files.

    Content is already online, what these torrent sites do is make them bits and share using crawling softwares. A person residing in a village with a broadband connection has access to audiobooks and ebooks of Chetan Bhagat to Bertrand Russel’s books. This will empower him, because free knowledge allows him to be. These files appear online only after movies or books have made substantial profits.

    Even if it is ‘stealing’ – from torrent sites or host of file sharing sites, free knowledge is welcome. As Gita says – “let noble thoughts come to us from all directions”, – we can say – “let all the files come from all sites – freely!! “.

    Vinay G.B.

  4. Vinay says:

    Very true Vinay. I love the concept of free knowledge and the Gita’s statement is the one which will stand strong forever. When it comes to books and info sharing I think it would be a totally unfair move for the govt to pass any rule in this regard. I mean if a case comes when they start copyrighting each and every little thing available, there would be none at all to make an informed choice or widen our knowledge. I believe the main motive for this bill would be the encouragement and the pressure from the media industry- the music and the movie industry which thoroughly depends on marketing their cds, dvds, etc. It probably wont stand and there will be ways to go around this law as well. But for now, a rolling stone is gathering the mass and wiki’s move to retaliate is a great gesture in the view of free knowledge.

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