Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Internet goes on strike - Discussion / Writing an argument


Updated 23/1/2012 to add the interview with Jacob Appelbaum who argues the case against SOPA and talks about Megaupload and the surveillance state. It's at the bottom of the post.

Why is the internet "on strike"? 
1) Read
18 January 2012
Wikipedia joins blackout protest at US anti-piracy moves
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16590585
Wikipedia has taken its English-language site offline as part of protests against proposed anti-piracy laws in the US.
Users attempting to access the site see a black screen and a political statement: "Imagine a world without free knowledge."
The user-generated news site Reddit and the blog Boing Boing are also taking part in the "blackout".
However, Twitter has declined to join the shutdown.


Read more
Viewpoints: Sites go offline in US piracy laws protest
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16604990

SOPA debate: Who’s involved and what are the stakes? A look at the politicians, companies and lobbying groups involved in the dispute over Stop Online Piracy Act.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sopa-debate-whos-involved-and-what-are-the-stakes/2012/01/17/gIQAZAVq5P_gallery.html

Watch a video  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2011/dec/23/sopa-stop-online-piracy-act


2) Discuss


  • What is copyright?
  • What is online piracy?
  • What should we do about online piracy?
  • Have you ever downloaded movies and music?
  • Do you think we should pay for them or should they be free?
  • What are the consequences of free movies or music?
    • for customers?
    • for retailers?
    • for business?
    • for musicians, actors and people who work in those industries?
  • Do you think they should look for other ways to invest in and sell their products?
    • Give examples
  • What other content on the web is free?
  • Should news be free?
  • Should knowledge be free? Why / Why not?
  • Do you think wikipedia is right to shut down in protest or should we have laws that shut down websites that share content without paying copyright?
  • What are the consequences of closing down websites which share copyrighted content? Which of your favourite websites would be affected?
  • Take note of some advantages and disadvantages of free and paid internet content and prepare to write the question below



3) Write
Write an answer to this question.
The film and music industry want to close down websites which freely share copyrighted content. Others say that this goes against freedom of speech. Which view do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.





Interview with Jacob Appelbaum who argues against SOPA and talks about Megaupload and the surveillance state.

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