Specific Purpose: To inform the audience about the Stop Online Piracy Act
A. Attention Getter: How many of you have ever said, “Google it!” or “look it up on YouTube”? I’m sure you’ve all said it more times than you can count, but imagine a world where neither site exists. No Google, no YouTube--weird, right? Now, imagine the Internet—one of the United State’s most robust and growing industries, without Wikipedia, Google, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube—even harder to fathom. B. Relevance: The Internet has changed the way we all live. It is at our disposal with many advantages and some disadvantages, piracy being one of them. The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, was created to stop this infringement. Stephanie Condon, from CBS news, says, “The bills are intended to strengthen [the] protections against copyright infringement and intellectual property theft, but Internet advocates say [that the bills] would stifle expression on the World Wide Web.” If this bill passes, the World Wide Web, as we know it, could be changed forever. C. Credibility: As an everyday Internet user myself, for work and for play, this topic caught my attention and I’ve done a great deal of research on it. I truly wonder what the future of the Internet would be like if this bill were passed—don’t you? D. Thesis: The SOPA bill is very crucial to the future of the Internet, and in order to understand its full effects, we need to be educated on what is and what it does. E. Preview: Therefore, we will first go over what SOPA is, then we will go over the pros and cons, and finally, we will learn how it will affects our future.
Transition: To begin, we will look at the bill as a whole.
A. What exactly is SOPA?
1. SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act. According to Deborah Todd, a writer from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, introduced the bill in order to combat the growing problem of piracy. The entertainment industry takes a huge hit from profits because of the pirated material that is available online. 2. SOPA’s goal is to hit sites that exist on servers that are outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. This means that it tries to cut off access to sites hosted on “foreign” servers. It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but because the wording of the bill is so vague, how do we know that other websites that we know and love won’t be shut down as well? a. It is targeted at search engines like Google. Links for the foreign pirate sites will not be posted anywhere on the web and advertisements and funding will be directly cut from these sites. According to James Temple, author of the San Francisco Chronicle, SOPA originally wanted to block domain names completely. This would ensure that no one could reach pirate sites. The problem is, that it would block anything under that domain name entirely. For example, if blog.com/counterfeitrolexes were blocked, blog.com/cookierecipes would be inaccessible as well. You could never have access to blog.com again. Due to pressure, however, Lamar Smith took the domain block out of the bill. b. SOPA would also require major websites like YouTube and Facebook to monitor everything their users put up. Teenagers putting up their own covers, or renditions, of a Katy Perry song could violate copyright laws. Instead of going after the user of the site, SOPA heads straight towards the website itself. This means that YouTube would basically be terminated because someone related to a song and wanted to share that with the world. (show slide) In protest of this, sites like Wikipedia and Reddit shut down for a 24-hour period on January 18th, 2012. Google also created a protest and posted the link online for everyone to see. Google Chrome even went as far as to show which websites support SOPA and which ones do not.
Transition: Now that we know what SOPA is and what it aims to do, lets go...