Sunday, January 22, 2012

Both sides of SOPA/PIPA

This is an aritcle about the legislation that became mainstream last week after Wikipedia decided to close its doors in protest. The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act are both on their last legs and will be crushed after public out cry. Any politician who supports such legislation now has to fear not being reelected.

What I liked most about the article is that it goes beyond the public out cry and takes a look in the business of the legislation. It shows how both sides, the Hollywood entertainment industry and the Silicone Valley tech companies have a lot to gain and lose depending on the fate of the legislation. The article points out that Google spent nearly $6 million in lobbying last year. Media companies have spent a lot of money to get the legislation on the floor. I also like how the article keeps a fair balance, despite the public's clear outcry over the bills.

Do you think the article is fair? What do you think about the entertainment industry that remains this legislation is not "cool?"


  1. I really liked this article. I was one of those many Americans that didn't know a whole lot about either of the bills. This article did a nice job of explaining the ins and the outs of the blackout. Since the blackout I've heard many different conversations discussing the bills. These discussions have also brought up many questions about the the blackout and the proposed bills. This article answered most of those questions that I had about the topic. It did a great job of telling the readers what we want to know.

    The reporter does not quote anyone from the government side so I guess that could be seen as a little unfair. As a reader that didn't know anything else about the topic may be left thinking to one side of the argument. However, the argument was about the blackout and not about the bills.

  2. The story was cool for me because I didn't really know too much about the issue besides the fact the Google and Wikipedia were protesting it. To see what the two sides were and what the legislation meant to them financially was interesting and we as the public got to take a 'field trip' into the crazy world that is the multimedia legal room.
    In terms of fairness, I agree with Alex by stating that because the author didn't get anything from the government side, it might not be totally fair. But I thought the reporter got both of the 'fighting' sides' opinions and that's what is important.

  3. I thought that this article did a really nice job explaining both sides of the issue of SOPA and the issue of online piracy. However, I thought that the article could have gone into a little more detail about specific provisions of the bill, especially since the author talked about how Wikipedia and Google were romanticizing opposition to the bill, but it did not really provide a counter argument to the hard facts of SOPA.

    Although I didn't love the writing style of this article, I thought that it was well written and a definite newsworthy piece. I feel like this definitely brought attention to something that is becoming a "generational battle" and gave younger people encouragement to think more critically about the bill, rather than just going along because a petition was on Google.

  4. I do think this article is fair because as I was reading, I didn't feel a biased voice leaning more towards one side while going into detail about the ongoing SOPA and PIPA anti piracy bills. Each source did a good job at sharing his or her own viewpoint on the matter while the reporter dove into the old versus new way of receiving media.

    This article was newsworthy to a lot of different audiences too since with Wikipedia closing down, all other forms of easy links to knowledgeable information has to question the credibility of present material. With free movies and television shows being leaked on the internet, media companies can either freak out in the short term paranoia, or devise a plan that will enable future technologies to not be stolen.And I definitely believe this is one of the first steps to fix the issue for the companies feeling violated.

  5. The article gave a great explanation of the SOPA and PIPA bills. Many Americans were not aware until the past week when many websites such as Google, Wikipedia, Reddit and so on shut down for 24 hours or made the bills known to every person who connected to the internet that day.

    People were aware that if you didn't sign this petition, majority of what is put on the web would have been censored, but they still do not know exactly what SOPA is. This article, gives the reader an insight as to what the bills are and what is going on. It also told the reader what is going on beneath the publics views: the people who are for and against the bills. The article gave you both sides of the argument.

    I enjoyed reading this article. I learned more about the topic. The article put the topic in simplistic terms that any reader could understand. I think that piracy is a major fault on the internet but censoring every website is not the way to go forth with the issue. If this had passed, the internet would never look as it does today.

    This is something that anyone in the U.S. could pick up and read. It affects all who use the internet which is majority of the people in America. The piece was well written and it was something worth my time.

  6. This was the perfect article for the many Americans who are unaware of what the SOPA and PIPA bills are. I thought it was fair to both sides. Without bias, it simply stated facts. I really liked the comparison to "a food fight in the school cafeteria." In many ways, that is true.

    The reporter made the article very easy to understand. I learned a few details about both sides that I didn't know before. Overall, I was very happy with everything I got out of this piece.

  7. I liked how this article stepped away from the public struggle of SOPA and PIPA and discussed the business aspects of the struggle. As someone that didn't know a whole lot about the issues, I appreciated knowing the problems that the actual companies have with the acts.

    I thought that the article was written fairly. It showed both sides and I didn't feel pushed one way or the other. In general I thought that this was a well written article. Although I didn't like the opening lines about the cool kids in high school. It just threw me off at first.

  8. This article explains both the SOPA and PIPA bill very well and it allows people to make this a quick read to catch up on the issue at hand.

    But one other thing I like about the article is that it gives people insight on how supporters of the SOPA and PIPA bills feel about the other.

    You have Sandra saying the only reason why people support the PIPA campaign is because it's "sexier", but then who have an anonymous person from Viacom saying that it's not because PIPA's campaign is "cool" but downloading and watching or listening to new music and movies is what is cool to the people.

    Another interesting fact in this article is when O'Leary says: “There’s no reason we can’t get together and work together,but it’s difficult to do business with a business model that is based on theft.” Because he is stating what every other American is thinking just get together and work it out, but then he throws in "it's difficult to work with people who support theft" and that to me sounds like I'm going to tell the people what they want to hear but I don't want to put that much effort into it so I'll say how can you work with criminals. I thought that was interesting.

  9. This article serves as a great recap for those who missed the boat when SOPA was first announced. I liked how they included opinions of each side, that was something I missed in the original coverage.

    I feel the article was fair... it did acknowledge both sides. With something so universally opposed it can be difficult to still show both sides fairly. I feel the reporter did a good job although I do wonder if more biased coverage would actually be acceptable here.

  10. This article did an OK job at shedding light on both sides of the argument. I think it served as a good recap of the overall story behind SOPA and PIPA. It definitely gave me a better understanding of the battle between the two sides. I thought they could have quoted the Government's side more. After reading the article I feel that I can form more informed opinions on my own.

    The article used good quotes. A Google spokeswoman said, “We have the same goals but we disagree on how to achieve them,” “We believe the best way to shut down pirate Web sites is to cut off their funding and that can be done without asking U.S. companies to censor the Web.” I agree with this. If the bills had passed it would've given the government too much control. Something needs to be done, but SOPA and PIPA were not the solution.

  11. I enjoyed reading this article. I do really like watching television shows that I missed on youtube or other websites, but I didn't pay any attention to the whole logistics behind it. I feel more informed about both sides of the story after reading this article.

    Both sides seemed very opinionated. The article mentioned the Web potentially eating into profits like it did for the music industry, and I immediately thought of the napster scandal, which happened about a decade ago.

    I really liked the quote by David Bank, "they can live with guys on the subway selling bootlegged DVD's. What they can't live with is a giant player that arguably could cause market forces that lead to value destruction". That quote was very descriptive for me.

  12. This article was a great article explaining both sides of SOPA and PIPA. I wasn't extremely familiar and I felt this article did an excellent job explaining without bias. I only wish it would've went into more detail on what each bill was proposing.

    I definitely think this was a great piece because it was easy to read, as someone who wasn't familiar with the topic. I liked that this article also focused less on the public aspect and really showed how the businesses such as Google and Viacom are feeling towards the issue.

  13. I really liked the writing style of the article. It got quickly to the points and covered a wide range of issues and views on the topic. I especially enjoyed the analogy at the beginning of the piece relating the situation to high school with "food fights" and smarts vs. cool. It was a clever way to simply relate the issue to many people.

    The author's selection of quotes was great as well. In addition to the wide variety of sources from varying positions, each quote really had something unique to say that wouldn't have given the same effect if briefly paraphrased.

    Overall, it was a very interesting story and constructed very well.

  14. This article does seem to be fair, in that it clearly presents both sides of the issue. The big media conglomerates--Hollywood, Viacom, MTV, etc--have their say, just as the grassroots Internet backlash has their's. However, one aspect of the article that I think betrays a slight bias towards the side of the Internet folks is the style, the tone, in which it was written. Here, the writer takes on the voice of a regular person on the Internet (which is appropriate, seeing as most people probably read the story on-line, as I did). This means that anything she says has a slight stylistic lack of objectivity. She compares the battle of SOPA and PIPA to a battle of "us and them", which pretty blatantly states which side she assumes her readers are on. This is okay to a degree. Yes, SOPA and PIPA would destroy the Internet, essentially. Yes, the bills are way over the top and must be stopped. But that doesn't change the fact that the media companies have a right to attempt action against online piracy of their content. In this regard, I think the writer does a good job of showing both sides of the issue, while at the same time relating the overall craziness of SOPA and PIPA.