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March 31, 2012 / MMasing

Internet: Active.

Hello Everybody,
What is you answer if I asked you… this:
Pro or con the limited freedom on the Internet?
Over the last years our world has changed, it became more modern. We got the Internet and mobile phones, for example. Lately there have been a few problems with the freedom on the Internet. What exactly is Internet freedom?  Internet freedom means that we, the civilians, can go on the Internet and do whatever we want. Free on the Internet to do everything. But then we get the problem: where are the boundaries? If you would look at, for example; piracy. The ACTA and the SOPA are trying to make the boundaries clear by shutting down sites and arresting people they think are crossing the lines within the freedom of the Internet. But is this fair after a free Internet for so many years? Pro or con the limited freedom on the Internet?
When Internet was freshly created everything was open to everyone. Everyone was anonymous and was free to say whatever they wished to say. But as Internet changes, so does Internet freedom. And this might not only be negative for companies or artists, but also for normal users.
How multimedia uses Internet freedom
Nowadays for every little thing you have to create an account first. Sometimes by making this account they save your IP address. For one, Google is very good at this, on the privacy level. Google knows everything: your searching terms, your link-clicks and way more. With this information Google can go to companies and sell your private information.[1] This way you have personal advertisements so that you only get advertisement of what they think you are interested in. They even are working on software that can analyze background noises, but that hasn’t been developed completely yet.
All this shows that nowadays privacy has become a big issue. On one side we show off with our personal information on multimedia like Facebook, Twitter and all sorts of blogs. But on the other side these multimedia get you back. In a lot of areas we are being invaded in our privacy, sometimes even without our knowing. And all this is legalized because you agreed to the agreements when making your account. Indeed, those agreements[2] that no one ever reads because they are too difficult and too long. Well, guess what, we are all doomed!
First of all these agreements make sure that every picture you upload won’t be your property anymore. When you upload something the host of the site can use it for its own purposes. Second they own rights on everything you buy. Meaning that they reserve the right to change, suspend or fully remove any product or content that they choose.[3] And not just from their site, but from your device. And then the general meaning of buying, as in owning something, also known as “purchasing”, is totally lost.
Consciences for the entertainment industry
We don’t need a degree in economics to see that the Internet is dominating the loss of the entertainment industry. Sales in music, theater tickets and print books are degrading. They say that they can’t make any money anymore and blame the Internet for this. And they have all the right to. Since the invention of Napster[4] the music industry has lost half of its sales. Not only hard copies, but also digital downloads. 


Piracy is killing the industry. This is mainly because you can’t buy a lot of singles anymore, everything goes in albums nowadays. 
And if you look at the digital downloads like iTunes…
Indeed, you mostly buy them 1 apiece. So if artists want their

 albums to be sold, they have to really be worth the money for all the songs on the album. And mostly, like we all know, we buy the album for that 1 song. And then a whole album gets expensive. It’s not only the “digital-downloaders” that are to blame if you look at it like that. The artists should make more songs on the album that appeal to the public, not just one. Making a better album that is actually worth the money. If the artist is truly good enough, people will buy the single or maybe even the whole album to show everyone that you like that artist by having the album on your shelf.
And beside that, the music industry could have gone along with the Internet better as well. If they just started the iTS[5] at the same time as the piracy of free digital downloading kicked off, and I believe that wasn’t in 2002. Nor like Spotify[6] in 2006. This way they might have lost less sales and showed people that you can buy just that 1 song you like for not so much money and help your artist at the same time. After all this Internet isn’t only bad for artists. It also helps the artist because Internet can break down the barrier between the creators and the audience. This makes artists more human and gets them in contact with their fans.

Spam without boundaries
Also spammers have made good use of the unlimited freedom on the Internet. Meaning toolbars are covering one fourth of your Internet window. Making free samples dangerous because they are breaking down your computer from the inside with viruses attached. Every e-mailbox needs to have a spam folder to filter the 2/3 spam mails a day out of your useful mail in your inbox. Free cosmetic add-ons with everything you download like screen savers and cursors making your computer too slow to function normally. And last but not least: advertising. No need to explain that one I believe.
SOPA and ACTA drawing lines
The solution wasn’t so hard to guess: boundaries are needed within our freedom on the Internet. So also
 thought the U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith when he created a United States bill called the SOPA: Stop Online Piracy Act.[7] This law would protect property of creators and protect against counterfeit drugs. Something similar to this agreement popped up and was signed by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the United States and later on by all 22 countries within the European Union. This agreement is the ACTA ( = Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement[8]) and has aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet. Hoping to give it a new governing body such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) of the United Nations (UN).

The SOPA and ACTA seem to run past their goal now with shutting down Internet sites that have something to 
and game online should have a rightful owner. Meaning it should be paid for to be able to see, listen of use it. Multimedia like YouTube are built on this should be taken down then, also other sites like: novamov, megaupload, gorillavid, pirate bay and many more. From which a few sites are already down by now and some people of these sites were arrested. And here I think it goes too far. You can’t shut down YouTube since YouTube itself didn’t put on anything that needed a copyright. The people using YouTube uploaded things there you should need copyrights for, so it’s technically not even YouTube to take the blame. And you can’t just shut down pirate bay, and this has nothing to do with it being copyright or not. It has more to do with the people using those sites. Suddenly you get limited on freedom, things that you could before, you can’t anymore. The government is censuring the internet into a something where it does fit the with copyright. The idea is good, but this does mean that every picture, song, movie, video clip, TV-series 
So what now?

But maybe the Internet shouldn’t adapt to the laws, but the laws to the Internet. The world is changing, so should the laws. And that the laws didn’t for the years where these “piracy” developed to where we are now, totally wrapped up in the Internet, isn’t the fault of the Internet. It’s the fault of the government. Shutting down everything wouldn’t help in this either, because the whole world is relying on it and build around the Internet. The most logical and recommendable thing to do would be to slowly change the Internet into something we are all able to live with. Not in a few weeks or months, but over the years. Just like how we made it into the mess… let’s get out of it the same way: over time.

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