Highwaymen of the Superhighway Essay

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The internet is an unregulated and chaotic environment that is only loosely governed by social norms that have been established by the more well-respected users leading the rest over many years. The anonymity of these billions of users allows them to break these rules and conventions with little risk of negative consequence. One of the biggest problems that stems from this is the pirating of media. Internet pirates will make media such as movies, television shows, and music available on websites such as The Pirate Bay, where users can download this content this free. This system takes money away from creators and designers and gives it to the advertisers on pirating websites. There are two reasons that people pirate media: either the…show more content…
If everyone pirates their material, they won’t make enough money to pursue their dream, and so pirates ironically run the thing that they enjoy into the ground. The first real attempt at public policy against internet piracy began with SOPA and PIPA, twins bills introduced in early 2012, that were designed to give the government the right to “block the domain names of infringing sites” and “allow rights holders to seek court orders requiring payment providers, advertisers, and search engines to stop doing business with an infringing site.” (Newman) In layman’s terms, the bills gave them the power to take down any website they believed to be committing piracy and to cut off that website from any advertisers or search engines, and any site accused would have five days to appeal its case. The problem with these bills was that they were extremely broad and gave the government too much power, as well as not actually solving the problem. The majority of internet pirates are well versed in computer programming, and the bills only allowed the government to shut down a websites domain, not it’s IP. A website’s domain is it’s web address, be it google.com or wikipedia.org. However, every place on the internet has an IP address, which is most easily relatable to a social security number. If a website was shut down by SOPA or PIPA, it could no longer be accessed by its domain, but it would still exist and could

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