Essay The Case of SOPA

Submitted By MonkeyPrince
Words: 1551
Pages: 7

Nicholas Young
PMAP 3311
Dr. Cascone

The Case of SOPA

Introduction It is an unfortunate reality that in this age of technology cybercrime has been on the rise. This fact has instilled fear into many individuals and companies have lobbied the government to put a policy in place that can help stunt the growth of cybercrime. Unfortunately websites such as "Isohunt" have been developed that allows for the sharing of software, from one individual who buys the product to potentially millions of others for free. This is justifiably seen as thievery by many software companies. The United States government attempted to help combat these issues with a bill known by the public as SOPA. This paper will examine the policy behind the bill, the supporters and those against the bill, and finally ways to improve on the legislation.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was a United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) to help expand U.S. law enforcement's jurisdiction to combat online copyright infringement, as well as, online trafficking in counterfeit goods. SOPA's provisions include court orders requiring Internet service providers to block access to websites that infringe on copyrights, barring advertising companies from conducting business with infringing websites, and even requiring search engines to no longer allow linking to the websites committing offense.[1] The proposed law would have expanded existing criminal laws to include unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content, imposing a maximum penalty of five years in prison.[1] This bill’s intended purpose was to protect intellectual-property market, jobs and revenue, and bolster enforcement of copyright laws. The bolstering of copyrighted laws used for protecting intellectual-property was especially needed against foreign-owned and operated websites which current copyright laws failed to adequately protect. [1]
Arguments for SOPA Who supported SOPA and why? There were four major supporters of the bill. These supporters ranged from lobbying groups(to the government) charged with protecting the interests of their clients , political officials, and companies. One gr The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) states that they support the bill because legislation is needed to "stop foreign thieves from stealing hard work and creativity of millions of American workers."[3] Another supporter is the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). These are two organizations most impacted by online piracy because there mission is to protect and represent their respective industries. According to statistics created by the RIAA online piracy has had these effects on the music industry [4]:
Since peer-to-peer (p2p) file-sharing site Napster emerged in 1999, music sales in the U.S. have dropped 53 percent, from $14.6 billion to $7.0 billion in 2013.
From 2004 through 2009 alone, approximately 30 billion songs were illegally downloaded on file-sharing networks.
The NPD Group, a market research company, reports that only 37 percent of music acquired by U.S. consumers in 2009 was paid for.
According to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, the digital theft of music, movies and copyrighted content takes up huge amounts of Internet bandwidth – 24 percent globally, and 17.5 percent in the U.S.
Digital storage locker downloads constitute 7 percent of all Internet traffic, while 91 percent of the links found on them were for copyrighted material, and 10 percent of those links were to music specifically, according to a 2011 Envisional study."

Pfizer is the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company and went on record in support of SOPA. John P. Clark, Pfizer's Chief Security Officer and VP stated in front of the House Judiciary Committee that:[2]
“Counterfeit medicines pose a threat because of the conditions under which they are manufactured – in unlicensed and unregulated