Right now, the entertainment industry is trying to push several acts which will change the face of the internet. As bad as this may sound, in my opinion, it's inevitable. For years we enjoyed the internet with absolutely no constraints or restrictions. A beautiful open world for creative individuals as well as people willing to share pirated content. This fairy tale is coming to an end. If we look at the last few years - we can see countless events where the entertainment industry has been trying to tighten the grip on internet piracy. Let's look at this comic from piratebay;
It's scary because this might be soon the reality. Except instead of banning someone from the internet, why not ban the entire website from the internet? Just in case this might repeat in the future
If SOPA/PIPA passes, the US government will have the right to take down any website on grounds of "Copyright infringement". Fair enough, I don't pirate, why should I care? -you say. Well, even right now we're on a website which consists entirely of user generated content. And DeviantArt has a pretty big copyright problem already with users posting stolen artwork all the time. Except under the new laws, this entire site can be blocked just because someone posted a GIF from the new Transformers movie. The same goes for youtube, tumblr, soundcloud and pretty much every website that allows user generated content.I do not believe we can stop this.
Call me pessimistic, but for years I've been surprised how open the internet is. The fact is that the majority of the internet is owned by private organizations who pay for the servers. A lot of people are using the "internet is a human right" tactic. Well, I would like to believe that. But in my humble opinion, the internet is no more of a right than Digital Cable or Indoor Plumbing. It's a service which you have to pay for. This service is brought to you by spending tons of money on undersea cables, communication satellites, servers etc. It hasn't even existed for very long! Just that our society is so reliant on it, that any changes to the web might cause catastrophic consequences. As a analogy, I present you with GPS - the Global Positioning System. An excellent invention that's used by millions around the world. But is it a human right? I don't think so. Just like the internet, it's owned by the US government and can be modified\shut down at any moment, indefinitely.
Even if SOPA/PIPA don't pass, there will be new acts and attempts to take control of the internet. One interesting thing I read on reddit before it went down - the whole SOPA thing might be just a sham for something that's even worse. Some sort of a Protect Children from Internet Pornographers act. The brilliant thing about that plan is - who in congress will oppose it and risk being labeled as a pedophile supporter? It will be essentially the same as SOPA and it will be equally bad for all of us.
There is no stopping them. They have far too much money and like that comic said, their copyrights are worth more than our human rights. I just hope that people will stand up and go on the streets to protest this. But that won't solve the problem in the long term. Maybe the internet won't crumble overnight because of some stupid law, but I'm sure that a slow transition into censorship is what awaits us in the future. I'd say we're already at 25% of this transition, given the current events (even something as drastic as extradition of a website owner to the US [link]
By no means I support any of this. Just that I believe sooner or later we'll have to live with it.
Please share your thoughts and opinions on this. Perhaps I'm wrong about some things and it may not be all that bad.
TL;DR: Internet censorship is inevitable