Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CopyRight and Politcs - Blog # 4

The average citizen being prosecuted for copyrighting?  The hard working artist loosing money from pirating of their work? Can government policies really help?

Expanding my weekly blog posts #4 and 5 on this topic.

Part 1

One must certainly appreciate the power of the internet. Through the spread of information and media which may very well benefit all of society; it has challenged our established constitutions, legal systems and international relations. It's always forcing us to recall what a revolutionary change it has brought to all of humanity as we had known it.

By it's ground-breaking spread of ideas, events, and media; America begins to question what form "Freedom of Speech" actually takes, the definitive form of intellectual property, and sets new laws constantly and dynamically as the internet continues to rapid grow and improve.

Media in the Internet

The media topic has been at the essence of much debate. The biggest being the spread of music, since there is so much of it, in such small and easily sharable files. Next comes motion pictures, movies, as they have been Americas immediate form of entertainment after the radio. Lastly, comes other forms of art, such as writing and visual art.

Big companies are loosing money as the internet feasibly compresses this media and rapidly shares it around the world. They are loosing money and desperately want this to stop; as they lobby and push their will onto politics, and laws get passed. Now anyone, by the click of a mouse, might be accused of pirating other peoples work.

Of course, as these laws evolve, people begin to panic and interject without fully understanding what this laws mean, as Catherine Fitzpatrick enlightens us in her article.
But now, in understanding that the average individual would not be so prosecuted, what about the mediums that serve this sharing purpose?

Sharing of the Media, Through internet mediums.

With big names such as LimeWire shut down for good, and MiniNova rendered useless by the courts; this companies are affective in politics.  Still such sites find loopholes at sharing this media. The ones who had been in under the scanner since early 2000's were the BitTorrent sites. Most Popularly, The Pirate Bay was the biggest torrent hosting site in the world.

This sites don't practically share the copyrighted media in their servers, but Torrents; mere shells of a movie or ebook being uploaded by others. Therefore exploiting the nature of the internet and intangibly engaging in illegal sharing of intellectual work.

That's the main reason why the individual cannot be so prosecuted for posting a link of a link of a link that links to a server with copyrighted material, in a sense.

Google, in all its hypocrisy, has definitely set  restrictions and limits on it's searches to such sites as Google no longer yields suggestions and search results when typing up this sites on the search bar, until the full word is typed.

Laws, Restrictions, and Adapting

The American public certainly and surely do not take restrictions on their freedom lightly. The sound of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) causes mass panic amongst internet users. A group of lobbyist have come up with Demand Progress, which it's founders have been battling internet restrictions and raising awareness online, and the founders have even been arrested for it. Although a bit on the extremest liberal side, their urgency has proved effective in elongating and stopping bills all together.

So It's there hope? Apparently, yes. Any Armed Forces service member is aware of OPSEC. As a newly made United States Marine, we all take instructional courses on how to keep the Department of Defense free of Phishing, Malware, but most of all for the warriors fighting wars, to not give out any military intelligence over Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube while on deployments.

The use of computers was monitored and restricted to only contacting family through approved internet protocols, however that's now changing for the better.

LCpl. San Sim (RIP, Brother) enjoying some electronics in Country
My last year in the Marine Corps was 2010. Back in that summer, I remember a big movement happening. The internet was opened to us! As an Non-commissioned Officer I was a liaison to get the word out to "Tell the Marine Corps Story." That's right. We all know how the news makes us the bad guys and doesn't ever publish the good we did in country. Now we were taking it into our own hands.

We were getting our story out there. I had to do "Periods of Instruction" on how exactly to do this, to our newer Marines. Mainly because I was the Training NCO working in the offices, as it was my last year with the company--and active duty.

Purple Heart recipient, Cpl. Marcus Chischilly approves of this.
We could now use Youtube to post our videos and make Facebook pages of our company and the good we were doing. America and the world would now see our side and the good things we do.

If the strict, held-to-higher-standards Marines can adapt to the changes in cyber society, so can other policies.

Final Questions regarding Politics and Copyright:

1. What does SOPA Stand for?

a) Start Operating Protocols Act
b) Stop Occupying Places Act
c) Stop Online Piracy Act
d) It stands for people's rights to download media freely on the Internet.
Answer: C

2. How does Google stop the spread of Piracy sites and Bit torrent usage?

a) By not showing any results for searches on Torrents.
b) By reporting those who search for these to the authorities.
c) By yielding no suggestions and search results before typing the full word.
d) By directing searches on Torrents and Pirate sites to proxies in different countries that allow such usage of the internet.

Answer: C

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