PIPA bill is before the U.S Senate, and it can lead to great disasters on the Internet. PIPA is the acronym for Protect IP Act. It is the twin of the jointly refused SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill before the U.S. House of Representatives.
Quite understandably, the power of the Internet has increased the level of piracy of movies, music, software etc. The entertainment industry is very worried, and the government is finally coming to their aid. Definitely, there has to be a way of protecting rights to intellectual property, and media companies have the right to seek innovative solutions to the problem of intellectual property infringements. Unfortunately, the content of the PIPA bill is very irrational, in favor of the media companies alone; and it is almost as destructive to the innovative spirit of the Internet as the content of SOPA bill.
Towards the end of last year, we addressed the issue of SOPA in the article, What Is SOPA and Why We All Hate It? We explained how SOPA will put power in the hands of companies to block the domain name of any website considered capable of encouraging copyright infringement. The bill was seriously protested by top websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Tumblr, eBay, Zynga, Scribd, Reddit as well as Mozilla and AOL. The protests were for a singular purpose – to preserve the core ingredient that brought about the creation of these giant companies and not throw the baby away with the bath.
Already, Wikipedia and other sites are set to protest SOPA and PIPA bills with a 24-hour blackout on Wednesday 18th January, 2012.
How Can PIPA Affect the Internet?
PIPA, Protect IP Act, was first brought to the U.S. senate on the 12th of May, 2011. It is more or less a revisit to its predecessor – Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) of 2010. PIPA will give power to U.S. corporations and the government to seek affirmative legal action against any website they consider to be enhancing copyright infringement whether they are U.S websites or not.
In their words, PIPA bill seeks to stop websites believed to be “dedicated” to “infringing activities” by granting the government the unprecedented power to attack the Internet’s domain name system (DNS). Thus, the government will become capable of ordering Internet Service Providers, Search engines and so on to redirect or totally ignore users’ attempt to reach the URLs of named offending websites.
What this mean is that, any of your favorite online destinations (blogs, social network, etc) could suddenly become blacklisted, and access to them will be immediately blocked. For example, some of the most funny and interesting videos you see and love on YouTube will be removed from YouTube, or else the site will be banned.
Perhaps, media companies should take a step away from their position and begin to see how to adapt to the greatest invention of the information age – the Internet. Obviously, one of the greatest powers of the Web is its ability to make people rich by earning trivial sums of money from millions of online surfers.