Dear World – Censorship

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Dear World.

As an aftermath of the rather successful CLICawards that was held in Cardiff last Saturday, I considered doing some sort of review of the night.

But then I though, **** that.

No, I didn’t really, but that is a beautiful segway for me to discuss censorship. Aren’t I the king of textual communication, eh?

The reason for this being the subject matter is that there is a bill that has been proposed in the United States of America that, in a nutshell, allows the American government to shut down any American websites that breach copyright law, which could result in a five year sentence for streaming work that cost more that $2,500 to licence even for non-commercial use such as singing a your favourite song on YouTube.

I know it’s a bit late, considering that they were going to vote on it on the sixteenth of this month, but I suppose there’s no harm on giving my two cents into the piggy bank that is known as the Wicid archive.

To put my opinions on this matter in a blunt way, this should not pass. It makes no sense to restrict what people can do online. It will just ruin what one of the main positives of the internet, and that is free speech.

Granted, nothing is completely free. Nearly every website has restrictions, but only to make the experience equally excellent for all users.

Take the Clic site as an example. I, as an example, cannot upload imagery that could be considered pornographic or that could be considered any way offensive for its target audience, and that is an understandable thing to take into consideration. That said, it makes utter no sense to throw an average user of the internet into jail just because they quoted Lady Gaga or something similar.

Yes, I understand that piracy and all that shebang is a crime, yet I doubt that imprisoning people just because they played a Kylie song in the background of their video is rather deserving of a prison sentence. All that will make, at least what I think that will create, is more people committing harder crimes.

Also, surely imprisoning those who infringe copyright, no matter how extravagant it is, will just waste space in prisons. Surely, prisons should hold the worst criminals like murderers and pedophiles, not someone who decided to download Bieber’s latest album (anyway, who’d be insane enough to do that?).

But what would happen to websites if the bill was to be passed? Well, there’d be a possibility that the websites would censor themselves in fright of the law. And due to the joys of equilibrium, that will effect the user’s experience, which would possibly destroy the content created and thereby reducing the quality of the internet. Possibly. Maybe.

You might read all this and think that I have joined the bad news parade. You know, the group of people who always rant about the minor things in life and invent a depressing and illogical future. I totally understand why this bill is being proposed.

I know copyright infringement, whether that be through illegal downloads or using content that has not been sourced. I also know that the internet is somewhat the new wild west (or Wild West 2.0), but the motion of instantly shutting down a website for a single copyright infringement seems totally unacceptable for me. Please don’t say I’m the only one who thinks this.

I shall leave you now, my dear world. Hopefully the Clic network won’t go down for some reason or other. Fingers crossed that the network will have a long life, eh?

I thank ye, world.

Image – Blogging by tillwe

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