A Blog To Comment On The Public Sphere

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sweatshop Bluez

Today I was walking around campus and saw an enthusiastic group of protesters that were vehemently against sweatshops. Apparently they weren't too happy to find out that much of USC's merchandise is manufactured in sweat shops, so they decided to strip down to their underwear and hold signs that say "sweatshop free USC." As far as protests go, it was effective because it got me thinking about the issue. I began discussing it with some friends and realized there were overlooked aspects to sweatshops that these protesters, though well-intentioned, do not consider. Sweatshops aren't quite as evil as everyone thinks based on the evidence of their unfair wages, and something should be done to solve the problem of unfair wages without shutting sweatshops down entirely because that would only be even more detrimental to the already impoverished employees.

I imagine the main point these protesters would argue is that these sweatshops provide poor working conditions and low wages to people in other countries, and they believe there should be some sort of improvements made to help these employees live better lives. This is understandable since, according to DoSomething.org, "85% of sweatshop workers are young women [aged] 15-25 [who] have to spend 50-75% of their income on food" because they make such a little amount of money with each paycheck. I definitely would not say that sweatshops are fair to their employees, and I believe there should be some measures taken to increase base wages of international sweatshop workers. However, I think that stopping the use of sweatshops entirely would not be the correct solution to the problem.

Stopping use of sweatshops would put hundreds of people and their families out of jobs and in a worse condition with each sweatshop that loses business as a result of a boycott like the one on the USC campus today. Imagine a sweatshop employing 300 people who make about $5 a day. Sure, they can't live luxuriously or even at a desired quality of life, but at least it is better than making absolutely nothing. If that sweatshop were shut down because people over here in the U.S. "wised up" and decided not buy products manufactured in a sweatshop that has poor working conditions and low wages, then each and every worker at that sweatshop is out of a job. Now they can't even feed their families at the level they could when they were only making $5 a day. What's worse, these sweatshops are probably some of the biggest employers in the area in which the workers live, so they likely won't be able to find a job at all after the closure of their previous place of employment.

Another thing to consider is that not every place in the world has the same standard of living and levels of fair wages as the U.S. In China, for example, the poverty line would be any family making less than $1 a day per person. Compared to the U.S. poverty line, which is a little over $11,000 a year for a single person, this is a ridiculously small amount. The cost of living in China is much less than here in the U.S., though, so less is needed to support your family. Based on the statistic I mentioned earlier, I still think sweatshop workers make way too little, but I think Americans need to take into consideration when discussing things like wages in other countries that not every country lives at the same financial level as we do. Paying the sweatshop workers in a place like Taiwan the minimum wage here in America would make them wealthier than a higher-skilled worker in their country.

I'd like to conclude with this fact from DoSomething.org:
"For less than 1% of Nike’s advertising budget, wages could be doubled for all workers making Nike university clothing."

Do I think that, in cases like this one involving Nike, workers at sweatshops deserve better wages and working conditions? Yes, that should be obvious if you are even the least bit moral. I do not think that stopping the use of sweatshops or boycotting them is a good way to achieve this goal. I urge you to find another way to take action like getting involved in political activism for the issue. Just do it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Is USC Safe?

With the recent events that have transpired and the media attention focused on the negative aspects of USC's reputation, it leaves prospective students wondering, "Is USC Safe?" This is a good question because, after all, it is located in South Central LA which is known for high crime rates and gang activity. However, the university has done a lot to make the campus and its surrounding area safer in recent years, and studies show that it's working. The University of Southern California, though not as safe as a small town school, is definitely not dangerous, and both current and prospective students have no reason to worry about their personal safety as long as they are aware of their surroundings and take precautions to not put themselves in risky situations.

In case you are unaware of what recent occurrence I am referring to that has everyone on their toes, here is a link to an article published by the Los Angeles Times. Two graduate students from China were shot and killed about a mile from campus while sitting in their BMW late at night. It is very tragic to hear whether you knew the students personally or not. USC has been called an international school because it has one of the largest percentages of international students of any university, and, because the victims were international Chinese students, this has many international students understandably frightened.

However, I don't think anyone at USC needs to be frightened because the university does a lot to ensure its students' safety. DPS employs nearly 300 officers who patrol the campus and its surrounding area all throughout the day and night. These officers have a high rate of resolving incidents as is often seen by the DPS crime alerts sent to each student whenever a crime is committed involving a student. Also, DPS coordinates with LAPD, and the LAPD officers diligently patrol the USC area as well. The university also employs campus security officers who are easily noticed by their bright yellow jackets and constantly chirping radios. These campus security officers are posted on nearly every corner where there is a concentration of student residences. USC has also stepped up security by installing more security cameras and license plate cameras all over the surrounding area. This increased presence by security officers and the LAPD alongside the new cameras and the ever-increasing gentrification of USC's surrounding areas has successfully decreased crime and will continue to do so.

There is still crime in the area, but you cannot expect there to be absolutely no crime at any college regardless of location. There will be crime wherever you go, that's why each town, even the smallest towns, have police forces. Not to mention USC is located in the country's second largest city and in an urban area. Its location is great for career, cultural, and volunteer opportunities for its students, but the necessary consequence is that the students have to understand they are living in an urban environment. I think USC states it best on their undergraduate admissions website's FAQs:
"While our public safety department plays a major leadership role in ensuring that our campuses and surrounding neighborhoods remain as safe as possible, the primary responsibility for crime prevention and personal safety rests with each individual."
Each student has to be able to watch out for themselves like mature individuals, and they need to be street smart and constantly aware of their surroundings. Walking home alone at night in a skimpy skirt while talking and laughing loudly on your expensive iPhone is obviously not a good idea, and, yet, I see this happen every single weekend. This proves to me that the university's security and public safety officers are serving their purpose because there are students who do not abide by the university's suggested tips to keep themselves safe and they are able to do so without trouble in most cases. To these students, I guess ignorance is bliss.

How does UCLA compare to USC in terms of safety? Well, they aren't as different as they are often made out to be. UCLA is located in Westwood, a much wealthier sub-section of Los Angeles, so its crime rate is understandably lower. However, not by the margin you would think in comparison to a university located in South Central LA. In 2008, UCLA had 121 reported violent crimes. In that same year, USC had 195 reported violent crimes. Both of these statistics are lower than in past years and in comparison to other areas in Los Angles. Now, that was in 2008; since then, USC has increased security even more and the rates have dropped even lower.

The incident involving the two Chinese international students was a horribly tragic event, but it was the first serious one I've heard of since I've attended USC (and I've been here for 3 years). I don't think prospective students looking at USC or current students at the university have anything to worry about as long as they are aware of their surroundings. The university has a strong security force and works closely with LAPD to ensure the presence of officers in the area and create a safe climate for its academic institution. The Trojan Family is as safe as ever and will only continue to become safer and safer. Hopefully, the media will focus on the positive aspects in terms of the safety of the USC campus and its surrounding area in the future. Sadly, that doesn't make a good news story, so those who are actually invested in the topic have to reinforce the reality of the situation so those who are ignorant of the truth about USC do not succeed in spreading the reputation that it is unsafe.

Friday, April 6, 2012


"E-mail. Facebook. Got a text! Oh, a retweet, awesome. What's new on Google News?" Sounds all too familiar, doesn't it? We put too much emphasis on the need to get the newer, better iPad, for example, that we forget what is actually important in life. Recently in China a young man had his kidney surgically removed in order to have enough money to buy an iPad. Guess it costs more than an arm and a leg.

Technology has made life much easier in many ways, but we face a negative aspect of new technologies as well. We become dependent on them and find ourselves spiraling out of control while attempting to make sure we have the newest technologies to make our lives seemingly easier. However, we are actually making our lives more complicated by filling them with unnecessary added stresses. I urge that we all take a moment each day to disconnect from all of our modern, technological chains and remember what is truly a priority in our lives.

An example that has likely affected you if you are a member of the modern age is the lack of appreciation of actual human interaction. And no I'm not talking about Skype. I mean actually talking to someone, whether they are your friend, significant other, or a stranger. As much as I sound like a Luddite, I swear I am not. I simply appreciate the concrete interaction that is slowly disappearing from our society thanks to Facebook, SMS messaging, and the ease of talking to someone via a "newfangled" medium. This is a problem because some meaning is lost through the process of encoding and decoding the messages sent and received through these media.

I think this could be a problem in the future if the younger generations who grew up with the new technologies lose the ability to interact effectively in the real world. They will lose the ability to make real conversation and the style that goes hand in hand with speaking. Instead everyone will be talking through their devices and, when the time arises when they will need to actually talk to someone, they will talk like computers. A generation of emotionless people who talk in a horribly direct way is on its way if something doesn’t change.

Another problem is the loss of privacy thanks to the technological age and the pervasiveness of social networks. Now, everyone can post anything and everything that is going on in their lives on their social network profile. As much as I'd like to know how great or horrible everyone's day at work or school went, I am worried about the availability of information. Aside from the marketing executives who buy your information and the hackers who could retrieve it quite easily, there are more and more, in my opinion, invasions of privacy. Now employers can even ask for your Facebook password to check for inconsistencies, explicit content, and illegal activity. Not too long ago someone who you met once wouldn't have the luxury of knowing everything about you. Today that's different, but I'm not sure if it's better.

What can we do? The answer is simple; people have been doing it since the beginning of time. Simply step away from the technologies that are consuming our lives for a while. If you are the type of person who spends half your day on Facebook, deactivate it for a week or two and see how much extra time you have to do things you enjoy in the real world. If you are the type of person who stays up all night texting, turn off your phone when you are home for the day. In fact, turn off all of your electronics before you go to bed and see how much better you sleep. This is symbolic, but it is also based in fact because it has been found that the frequency that comes from electronics, even when they’re not in use, disrupts REM sleep. Escape the destructive spiral of all of your electronic devices and just disconnect.

USB cables are our new chains and we are playing Big Brother to one another daily. As much as new technologies can improve our quality of life, they also have the potential to create more problems. I think it's important to disconnect once in awhile, and I urge everyone to do so and remember what it's like to live without the pressure to check your new Facebook notifications every thirty minutes.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Artists Are People Too

There is a stigma in our society that, unless they "make it big," all artists are doomed to the life of a "starving artist." However, the "starving artist" is something we've made up and perpetuate regardless of the fact that some of the art produced here in America is far-reaching and affects other countries' images of us much more than any other product or export. The American government, though efforts are being made, needs to significantly step up the resources available to artists and needs to set up programs to encourage and hone young artists.

When I say artist, I'm talking about all types of art, not just, say, painting. I'm referencing theatre, music, dance, and, of course, visual art. Programs in these areas are always the first to go when schools or communities are on a tight budget. Why? Because art isn't productive according to those who make these decisions. This idea, however, runs quite contrary to the massive amounts of money art brings to America and American's wallets.

Americans may not realize it, but the art we create here travels around the world in a heartbeat thanks to the Internet and affects how people elsewhere view Americans. This can be seen obviously in the case of music if you go to a nightclub almost anywhere in the world. Even if they can't understand the lyrics, the DJs will play American music.

When I lived in Amsterdam, many Dutch people knew little about how life actually is in America. They had an image in their mind based off of portrayals in the media. So when I said I'm from Los Angeles, I usually got a response like "California gurls? (sang to the melody of Katy Perry's hit song)" or "Is it like Entourage?"

Art is not only the export which affects our image the most, it is also a large export and a profitable one. And yet, artists are hardly ever given a chance to have healthcare provided by an employer or retirement benefits or anything of the sort. That needs to change.

Art is important to our culture and our economy. Artists need not be "starving artists." There needs to be a program set up to encourage more artists, and the government needs to step up and create incentives for being an artist. Otherwise, the artist is put at a disadvantage, and we cannot do that to the creators of something that is hugely important in our country, whether you are an artist yourself or not.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

America's Oil Problem

If we believe the "Doomsday Preppers," all the apocalypse fearing folks hiding out on National Geographic channel's new reality TV show, then the end is near. In fact, it's as close as the corner gas station. As one paranoid "star" sees it, skyrocketing gas prices will lead to skyrocketing prices on anything that needs to be transported, including food, and this will surely lead to the coming zombie-like frenzy to steal just a few precious drops of unleaded.

Will the spiking oil prices pose a threat to our economic well-being? Of course. But before we all freak out as prices approach $6.66 a gallon, how about a little perspective.

For most people the consequences of this surge in gas prices wouldn't seem too far off because we see high gas prices everywhere nowadays. And yet, somehow, America is still exporting oil. In fact, the United States is showing a net export for refined oil for the first time in 62 years.

In order for the government to do what's best for the American people in this difficult economic time, they need to provide incentives for oil production in the states and spend less money on foreign oil.

With talk of gas prices upwards of $6.00 this upcoming summer, we need to keep as much American oil here for domestic use as possible to attempt to curb the prices. People are having a difficult enough time in this country as this recession is slow to improve; we need to do whatever we can to keep gas prices low. Gasoline for daily transportation is a major expense for many Americans.

The United States government could provide incentives for more oil production in the states or tax cuts for oil producers in the states to sell oil domestically. This would help keep gas prices lower than they would be if we were to continue with the status quo, and that is exactly what the average American needs right now.

Also, a country on a tight budget shouldn't be spending money on ridiculously inflated prices to companies in the Middle East. Especially since we are currently trying to prevent Iran, one of the largest exporters of oil, from getting nuclear weapons technology. It is as if we are paying the bills for their research and their Plutonium while we sell our own oil for no apparent reason.

Some may say that we have to export some oil to remain competitive in the market internationally. I disagree because I think by paying the high prices, oil companies in the Middle East know they can keep prices high. If we can show them that the United States has other options of our own and that we are not as reliant on their oil supplies as we seem, we just may see lower prices in order for the oil from that region to remain competitive itself.

What I am suggesting is nothing more than not selling the oil we produce in the United States if we are going to continue to pay high prices for it domestically. By doing what I have suggested, this goal can be accomplished. However, there are also ways for the individual to cut their gas expenses even if the government won't to step in. Obvious solutions like biking to work definitely do the truck, but newer solutions like investing in a hybrid vehicle would also be a great way to save on expenses in the long term. Don't be afraid to join hybrid or fully electric vehicle owners just because the initial investment is sizable. Over time those owners save large sums of money on gasoline expenses and thus have to stress less about their daily transportation.

Why should we have to fear gas prices in the summer like we fear "doomsday?" It just doesn't make sense. Keep American oil in the states.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Little Emperors, Big World

In China, the one child policy has been implemented since 1979, but sociologists had no idea what kind of consequences it could have in the future. Nowadays, there have been a couple generations who have been affected by this policy, and the outcome is what people are calling "little emperors."

"Little Emperors" are the only children in families where they have the full and constant attention, both emotionally and financially, of their parents and grandparents. They have the full attention of their grandparents as well as their parents because their parents were only children as well. It is obvious how the one child policy in the People's Republic of China could act as an incubator for these "little emperors" because generation after generation of sibling-less kids are waited on hand and foot by their elders.

This could be a good thing for China or a very bad thing. In terms of economics, it could be positive since these children have n enormous amount of spending power in comparison to previous generations. These "little emperors" have the financial backing of both their parents and their grandparents who naturally want the best for their baby. This means increased spending which could be good for the Chinese economy, and, with a large population with an increasing spending power, the Chinese GDP will likely rise steadily in the years to come. However, this could also be a bad thing for China because the "little emperors" are used to getting their way and feel entitled to everything they had and more. This would not be good for international relations or international business because these grown "emperors" would not want to negotiate; they would want everything to be done their way which would force positional bargaining and would not be effective in any branch of negotiations. Also, this could cause internal problems because if everyone wants to spend, spend, spend without wanting to work, work, work, China will see exactly what an uncontrolled credit situation can do to a large economy (a.k.a. America's current problem).

In the end, the parents and grandparents just want a better life for their children since most had to live in poverty. This is especially true for those who had to live through the "cultural revolution" of Mao Zedong where he re-educated the intellectuals, who were harder to control, by forcing them to work in the fields. The unforeseen consequences of the "little emperors" are bound to be shaping the future of China for generations to come even if the one child policy were eliminated. Whether they are positive or negative consequences, nobody knows, but one thing is certain - these "little emperors" will rule China in 25 years.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Role of the Internet in the Future of the Entertainment Industry

Here is an essay I wrote on the subject:

You missed the new episode of Two and a Half Men, and you’re about to sell your car for breaking down on the ride home when you remember, like most people in the 21st century, you have a computer and an Internet connection. YouTube, Hulu, Megavideo, or hundreds of other sites are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for you to watch almost anything. The Internet has changed the way we entertain ourselves by making products of the entertainment industry “free” and easily accessible. There have been attempts to curb online piracy, like SOPA and PIPA, but they have failed so far because of overwhelming opposition from Internet users and popular sites, like Reddit and Wikipedia, that would have been affected by the passage of the acts in ways outside of the bounds of strictly online piracy. It is obvious that there is a point of clash between the entertainment industry leaders, looking to make the most money possible from their products and yet too scared to harness the Internet as a new medium, and the Internet users, wanting to enjoy the products without the constraints of the outdated industry standards; however this argument is growing into a battle over copyright infringement involving the introduction of legislation that would be harmful to technological progress, and the winner of this battle will likely decide the future of the entertainment industry.

SOPA, which is an abbreviation for the Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, which is an abbreviation for the Protect IP Act, were attempts by the 112th congress to “promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.”[1] Both acts are very complicated and, likely because of this reason, are full of loopholes that can enable infringement of rights to privacy and Internet freedom while attempting to prevent infringement of copyrighted material. Summarized, the acts are meant to allow any company and the U.S. government to punish copyright infringement by “black listing” any site that is found guilty of it and cutting that site’s funding by making it illegal to advertise on the site or to display the site in search engines.[2] This means the bills would affect foreign sites as well. Though there are good intentions in writing these acts, they are currently written in a way that would prevent freedom of speech and act in opposition to their goal to promote innovation or creativity online.[3] It is because of these reasons that the entertainment industry wants the acts to pass, so it can gain leverage in a losing battle, whereas Internet users are against the acts because they would hinder progress as well as the status quo.

Now that more is known about the acts, it is easy to see why those at the top in the entertainment industry would favor the passing of these bills since it would make it a criminal offense worldwide to display material infringing upon copyright laws (like movies, television shows, and music) and allow the U.S. government to take action against it in a variety of ways. If you were an artist, actor, or anyone who makes their living from intellectual property or the products of the entertainment industry, you would want these acts or acts with the same purpose to pass. The Wall Street Journal explained it simply with an anecdote about Los Angeles rock artist Pete Yorn in which they explained that, had this been a decade ago, Yorn would be making much more from his music than he does in today’s day and age because piracy of his music on the Internet reduces his profits substantially.[4] The Internet has “destroyed the music business,” as John Mellencamp said, or at least the way it once was.[5] The Internet’s role in the entertainment industry has definitely been detrimental in some aspects like album sales, for example, because now people rarely pay for music and, if they do, it is usually one song at a time. More restrictions on the Internet to protect copyrighted material would be beneficial if you are on the production and distribution end because it would be more stable financially. In other words, film and music stars and all of the people behind the scenes would be able to make more money than they already do. This isn’t unfair, especially in a legal rather than moral sense, but is it necessary? The entertainment industry would argue yes, but it would not be if the industry would accept the changing of the times and use the Internet in a positive way to advance the areas that can be strengthened with the far-reaching, influential power of the Internet.

If the entertainment industry continues to push for legislation like SOPA and PIPA, how would this affect the future of the entertainment industry? If something were done about restricting the power of the Internet and giving more power to those cracking down on removing copyrighted material, the entertainment industry would revert to what it once was. Consumers would actually have to buy their music and go to the theaters to see a film. The industry would become a “cash cow” again like it once was with the television boom and the invention of new ways to listen to music like the CD player. What isn’t being taken into consideration, however, is that technology has also been good for the entertainment industry. The two previous inventions I mentioned, the television and the CD player, are obvious in their benefits, but the Internet has done more for the entertainment industry than hurt it. With new technologies, and the Internet being the main one, it is now easier to produce and much easier to distribute content. As entertainment lawyer Whitney Broussard explains, a band would have to spend much more money to get started a decade ago than they would today. Now a band could make their music on a laptop and from the comfort of their studio or bedroom and share it with millions of people on sites like Sound Cloud or sell their music on sites like CD Baby.[6] Justin Bieber, for example, rakes in the dough for many other people affiliated with him in the industry, and he got his start by singing on YouTube, which is something the SOPA and PIPA acts would deem illegal.[7] A good analogy, I think, is this one from singularitylaw.com:

Record companies also were saying just a few years ago that they would never sell music downloads since that would interfere with their current distribution networks. But, of course, Napster forced their hand (or some would say gave them an excuse for turning their backs on their distributors and retailers). Napster showed that there was an enormous demand for music downloads, and if there were not legitimate download sites, users would download music illegally. Now we have iTunes and many other legitimate download sites that are putting millions of dollars into the coffers of the record companies, leaving the traditional distributors to fend for themselves. The bankruptcy filings of Odyssey Records, Tower Records, and massive closings of Sam Goody stores and those of other CD retailers was not just a coincidence.”[8]

The entertainment industry is afraid of the negative effects the Internet can have on their revenue, and, if they continue urging for the government to do something on their behalf to stop copyright infringement altogether, the industry will hurt the progress of the Internet even if it may help themselves fill their bank accounts.

The Internet users have an expectedly different stance on the issue. Though some users simply wanted the bills not to pass because they became too used to not paying for music or movies, a large number of users oppose the bills for sound reasons like protecting the fundamentals of the Internet and ensuring the possibility of innovation. Had the Internet been restricted like the SOPA and PIPA acts would have it even a few years ago, many of the sites that define a majority of the population’s site traffic would not even be around. If sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Reddit would have to be monitored for each and every post to make sure there wasn’t any form of copyright infringement, they would not have been able to handle the responsibility financially.[3] This also prevents innovation since the bigger companies could stamp out new competition with similar goals but a new way of going about it by accusing them of copyright infringement. Even Republican Senator Marco Rubio wrote on his Facebook that he no longer supported the acts as they were written because of the “impact the bill could have on access to the Internet” and the “potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet.”[9] Essentially, the Internet users who oppose these bills would not want such restrictions on their Internet freedom. To Internet users, the Internet is a free, open space and the introduction of restrictions because the entertainment industry is hurting is not likely to ever be approved of by the masses. The users have power in numbers and a reason to fight other than money, so they will continue to oppose SOPA, PIPA, and any bills like them.

If the Internet users are successful in stopping restrictions of the Internet, this could very well be the downfall of the entertainment industry as we know it. This isn’t to say that there will be no more new music or films coming out, but it is likely that many of the entertainment monopolies that are around today will no longer be around in the future. Instead, independent artists and filmmakers will have just as accessible an audience and will be able to distribute their products easily. The future of the entertainment industry would be much different than how it is today, but it may be better depending on if you’re a hopeful musician rather than a current industry executive. My personal opinion is that this is already happening and the entertainment industry will either have to adapt to the Internet as a new medium like they did with television or make a compromise with Internet users so that the products that they are trying to prevent from being illegally downloaded will be distributed freely, and the entertainment industry will have to become a more interactive industry by focusing more on entertaining actual audiences of people. For example, rather than selling the music, the industry would focus on more concerts and festivals or some new form of interactive entertainment. If the industry will not compromise, the next possibility that makes the most sense to me is that the entertainment industry will no longer be an exclusive industry, but it will become a public playground where any filmmaker or musician can upload their movies and songs. This would put the people in power, but create another problem in that now there is a need for people to sift through everything and find the products worth watching or listening to; maybe the entertainment industry professionals could do that or find another way to compromise with the Internet users. The future of the entertainment industry is unclear, but the Internet will definitely play a role whether the industry leaders and legislators who support SOPA and PIPA will accept it or not.

New technology and entertainment work opposite one another, and yet they move each other forward like Yin and Yang. When the television was invented, those in charge of radio were afraid it would ruin the entertainment industry, but the television only enhanced it and added many more possibilities. In the end it made the entertainment industry more lucrative and powerful than ever. A similar situation is currently happening with the Internet and the entertainment industry. There is opposition to the Internet as a medium because it currently has too many financial drawbacks since information and products like music and film can be enjoyed for free. However, the Internet is becoming more and more a part of everyone’s daily lives and is even already being used in the entertainment industry for production and distribution, among other uses. The entertainment industry would want restrictions on the Internet for material that infringes upon copyright law, and if it ever happens Internet freedom and innovation are at stake. The users of the Internet, however, would want not want there to be any restrictions. This would likely be the downfall of the entertainment industry as it is today because no one would pay for movies, music, or the like. However, the entertainment industry does not have to be gone for good. The Internet has played a huge role so far in changing many aspects of our lives, and if the entertainment industry accepts and harnesses it as a medium, the industry could transform itself into something even better than it is today.

Works Cited

1. "Govtrack.us." H.R. 3261: Stop Online Piracy Act (GovTrack.us). Web. 24 Feb. 2012. .

2. "How SOPA/PIPA Can Affect You." 1stwebdesigner – Graphic and Web Design Blog. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. .

3. Timm, Trevor. "How PIPA and SOPA Violate White House Principles Supporting Free Speech and Innovation." Electronic Frontier Foundation. 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. .

4. Wurtzel, Elizabeth Lee. "The Internet Is Ruining America's Movies and Music." The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 09 Aug. 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. .

5. "The DIY Musician Blog." DIY Musician. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. .

6. "The Role Of Technology In The Music Industry Today - ArtistshouseMusic." Web. 24 Feb. 2012. .

7. "FREE BIEBER! Justin Bieber Faces 5 Brutal Years in Prison." Free Bieber: Vote No on S. 978. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. .

8. "Singularity Law." Will the Internet Finally Undo the Entertainment Industry Monopoly Over Entertainment? Web. 24 Feb. 2012. .

9. Rubio, Marco. "A Better Way to Fight the Online Theft of American Ideas and Jobs." Facebook. 18 Jan. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. .