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As you may have heard, there are two bills waiting to either be passed or rejected. They are SOPA and PIPA. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) briefly are bills, if passed, give the US government the rights to do whatever they want on the internet.

Yes, if the bills passed the US government can censor, remove, block and given site labeled as infringing by the industries. I’m not going to go into much detail since there are already several sources that can explain it much better than I can. Links are below.

After seeing many comments regarding the bills and piracy I began thinking and researching about it and here’s what I got:

Now piracy isn’t something new, in fact its been around for a years and years, and this isn’t the first time the corporations have tired to fight it. After much reading and researching, piracy is a rebellion because of service issues. When you buy a movie, you want to watch the movie and not a whole bunch of ads that you can’t skip ahead of. Where as any downloaded or pirated content will let enjoy the movie without the ads.

DVDs and ads aside, the new generation is also getting lazier, much lazier. Services like iTunes, Steam, Netflix, and Orion all prove that people would rather download all these things from the comfort of their couch at home, because no one wants to walk, and in some cases drive, just to buy/rent movies they have access to at home. In addition, since iTunes and Steam began all the content that they distribute have all gone down in terms of piracy and the best part: the publishers and creators of the content still make a profit.

Netflix is currently one of the largest online distributor of movies and TV shows. They also have Signed contracts with Starz, Dreamworks Animation, Open Road Films, Epix, and Relativity media. My question is can’t the MPAA or whoever the pushing the bills understand that this stuff works, and push more studios to support such services and make such services available to worldwide audiences. While it may not stop piracy all together, but it will definitely lead a majority of the people who buy or download pirated copies to start buying/renting legit copies from the same comfort of their home provided that the prices are like what Netflix offers.

Steam is a service provided by, unsurprisingly, Steam. They currently have 1492 video games titles available, and have more or less 40 million active user accounts. They provide for both PC and Mac users and are currently working on expanding to support more platforms such as the Xbox and PS3. Steam currently not fully supported worldwide or by the gaming publishers, but is highly recommended by the gaming community. While these numbers may not be large enough to have the same impact as Netflix, Steam, given the support needed, has the potential to grow and become a major distribution port of the gaming world. Steam has also been labeled as more profitable than retail by several major game vendors. And yes, piracy for titles available on steam has gone down since being launched on the service.

The ever popular iTunes store has over 200,000 items available for purchase and 16 billion downloads since its launch in 2003 and also the largest of the three services with. Users of the distribution service range from major Studio and Record Labels to indie and YouTube musicians.  Apple currently has issues of pricing and distribution with Universal Studios.  The full iTunes store isn’t fully available worldwide. The answer is also yes, piracy of content available on iTunes has gone down since available on iTunes.

I may not be an expert on piracy, the media, or law-making but I do know the web and how it works and that people like stuff that is easy access and cheap. Even if these types of services may not be the best solution to piracy, they are definitely a better going with laws that can potentially destroy the fastest growing medium of business in today’s world. Who knows, with enough support and reasonable enough prices, they might on day have enough users that piracy is no longer a problem.

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So SOPA/PIPA supporters, let me ask you this: Are you sure you have the best solution? Do you really want to ruin the best way of beating piracy?

AmericanCensorship.Org      FightfortheFuture.Org 

Apologies if facts in this article are in accurate, sources below.

Gizmodo  Mashable

Wikipedia Articles:

iTunes   Netflix  Steam   SOPA   PIPA

YouTube Videos:

WTF is SOPA ? aka The American Government trying to ruin the internet

Help Stop SOPA and PIPA    SOPA Cabana (by Dan Bull)

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