In light of yesterday’s class discussion, I went roaming through the internet to see if I could find places where I thought something like SOPA would be needed. I found that while the internet may have been originally conceived of as a place where everyone can go as a collective to share and distribute a wealth of knowledge in an incredibly quick and convenient way, it has since transitioned into a platform through which people can make economic gains (even as I type a pop-up dances at the bottom of my screen).

If the web has become a way of commerce, I think it makes perfect sense to have regulations that protect fair trading practices. One could not simply walk into an art gallery, grab a painting off the wall, and use it as a canvas for his own work without the permission of the original artist. While it is nice to romanticize the internet as a place where the artist can go to share his or her work with the public, in actuality the internet is a place of business- it is the largest store in the world and most of the merchandise is not ownerless.

I think that to a degree the problem that many people see with SOPA is born out of the language we use to describe our actions on the internet. After all, how can “sharing” be a bad thing? Everyone knows that sharing is caring. Don’t parents and teachers always say – “be a good sharer.” Yet, can you really share something that doesn’t belong to you in the first place? In other words, are we “sharing” or are we disseminating?

While SOPA may or may not be the best way to monitor the web or to ensure that copyright laws are upheld, its philosophy makes sense. At least to me.


Hi everyone! My name is Alex Kelsen. I am a junior studying English and Psychology. This is my second semester taking this class and I am very excited to continue the experience.