In September 2011, Sophia Grace sang Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass in a pink tutu and princess crown, gathered 29,509,723 viewers, impressed the YouTube universe, and caught the attention of Ellen Degeneres. The 8 year old then appeared on Ellen’s show two times this past year and celebrities such as Katy Perry, Mary J Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Nicki Minaj herself, just to name a few, rave of her unquestionable talent and the bright future she has ahead of her.

If SOPA/ PIPA were to pass, YouTube users who may have had the same chance to be discovered in this (increasingly popular) way would no longer legally obtain the opportunity to do so. Instead, they would be facing legal action with the website it appeared on and/or record label that owned copyrights to the song. Singing lyrics of which one does not rightfully own would be considered a felony. Although replicating copyrighted work is already technically illegal, it would be strictly enforced and monitored after the passing of SOPA, supposedly resulting in 5 years imprisonment. Think about Justin Bieber, Sean Kingston, and Colbie Caillat, all famous after being founded on YouTube and all guilty of sharing cover versions of songs.

I don’t believe its fair to take away this creative right from Internet users. This “manipulation of previous material” allows undiscovered talent to shine. When individuals posts videos passionately playing their unique versions of a song, whether on the piano or guitar or simply just singing it, the performer is able to expresses his or her own style while at the same time opening up a window of opportunity to have their talents recognized by the world. Many recreated versions of songs even enhance the original piece being performed.

Well known, familiar songs allow working artists to relate more easily with the YouTube audience. The viewers can then determine whether the performer has talent or not by comparing it to the original piece. Deciding that potential does exist is the turning point for the newfound artist. It is shared amongst friends and turns viral. If Sophia Grace was brought to a recording studio, she would not start selling her version of Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass claiming it was her work. If her fame continues, she will produce unique music of her own. Nicki Minaj’s music enabled Sophia to be found by the entertainment world. From this point, she will be able to create her own identity in the industry.Using and maneuvering “copyrighted” music is a gateway to originality and creativity, not a lack of it.

In conclusion, SOPA’s removal of content possessing copyrighted material would disable individuals. It would prevent aspiring artists from showing the world all the talent they possess and prevent amazing outcomes from occurring. Expression and creativity would be halted, with only one version of a musical work circulating: the original one. SOPA would put limits and constrictions on a generation that has found a way to share musical ability both creatively, efficiently and successfully.
HI! My name is Liz. I find digital media exciting because it has so many uses in today’s world. I want to go into a career in copywriting and editing for advertising SO BADLY… so I also think its incredibly interesting that different forms of digital media are able to influence it’s audience in different ways.