We would have to start paying for what we once used to get for free, which could cause many popular sites and search engines to stop their services. This would mean no more social media such as Facebook and Twitter, no more study or work break entertainment such as YouTube, no more catching up on your favorite TV shows you missed last night on Hulu, and Heaven forbid, no more searching for anything on Google or Wikipedia.
It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it?
The First Amendment
SOPA and PIPA tried to take away our access to free information, entertainment, and knowledge on the internet because they thought it caused “piracy” issues. They did, in fact, violate American citizen’s right to the First Amendment.
According to Wikipedia, “this amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.” I wouldn’t have been able to even share this free and easily accessed information with you from the internet if SOPA and PIPA had passed!
The “Black Out”
Google, Wikipedia, and other popular sites took action to protest against SOPA by “blacking out.” President Obama did not pass the act initially, but it wasn’t until later that Lamar Smith, chief sponsor of SOPA, pulled the bill and put an end to it.
After the petition and uprising protest of American citizens, SOPA decided they needed to take a different approach to reducing piracy and infringement on the Internet. Good thing they did, because if it had passed and access to free information on the Internet had been taken away, a civil war against the government and the American citizens could have been started.
The fight for freedom of shared knowledge and information on the Internet became an event that will go down in history. With over 13 million Americans signing the petition against SOPA in just 3 days, this protest exceeds almost all other bills and laws that have been proposed throughout American history.
According to tweeter Andrew Bloch, it also would have been a little controversial if SOPA had passed, considering that Smith had done a little copyright violation himself: http://twitpic.com/88ueqz
Now that SOPA has been taken out of government’s hands and did not pass, Internet users across the United States can now relax and enjoy browsing the internet in peace. I think many users will now realize how much we took access to free knowledge for granted. Enjoy using the Internet!