To Not Infringe

YouTube is probably home to some of your friends’ videos that they made late some Wednesday night when they did not feel like doing homework. Below where you view the video, your friends did not give credit to the artist and song to which they were having a dance party. This would be a problem with the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Congress is working on passing the bill, which states that the owner of a “foreign internet site” must “cease and desist further activities constituting specified intellectual property offenses under the federal criminal code including criminal copyright infringement, unauthorized fixation and trafficking of sound recordings or videos of live musical performances, the recording of exhibited motion pictures, or trafficking in counterfeit labels, goods, or series.”

The bill’s main goal is to take down sites that encourage copyright infringement, which is illegal. Congress is trying to protect the laws and prevent illegal activity to protect intellectual property.

It is better to get to the root of a cause rather than to keep trying to take care of the effects. By passing a bill like SOPA, media companies, who are harmed most by copyright infringement, will not have to continue suing individual companies.

When they are protected against infringement, artists and authors can finally receive the royalties they deserve. This is because, when users illegally download music, movies or other media, the creator is losing the royalties that they are due. Copyright laws are in place to protect the intellectual property that belongs to someone. It is illegal to infringe upon this right.

Internet sites with links to other sites, like Wikipedia, would have to make sure the sites linked do not promote infringement. It would simply be a matter of monitoring the links more closely. Sites can get censored under this Congressional bill, but they are first held accountable for preventing infringement.

Most of Hollywood and cell-phone companies are supportive of the act. SOPA will also protect small businesses involved in music, film or television from harm.

Would it be so difficult to always give credit to your media sources? It is simply a matter of making the conscious effort. Be wary of what you are posting.

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