In recent weeks the atmosphere encompassing the internet has been strained and this is due to one reason only and that is the S.O.P.A (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill which was making its way to Congress in the U.S. Numerous major players on the worldwide web began protesting against the bill which they believe would have ultimately given the government the capacity and the resources to censor and remove freedom of speech from the internet.
While Wikipedia had a 24 hour blackout, Google and Facebook opted for a more subtle approach by blacking out their logo to show their support. In total around 7000 websites blacked out in demonstration to the proposed bill, along with around 4.5 million people signing Google´s anti-censorship petition. Due to the unprecedented opposition to the bill around the world 18 U.S. senators have withdrawn their support. During the protests the senate saw their websites collapse under the strain of the overwhelming response. U.S. senator Marco Rubio as admitted that the rewording and rethinking of the bill will be necessary to find a middle ground ensuring there is no violation of First Amendment rights while still upholding the copyright laws.
But what exactly does all this mean for the rest of us? Well, copyright and piracy infringements are problematic issues, with music, films, documentaries and other television shows being unlawfully transferred over the internet via a file host leading to the owners of the material distressed at the conceivable loss of profit, but once the information is out there on the internet on one of the many file host services it is extremely challenging to monitor and control, making it very difficult to arrest anybody caught violating the copyright laws. It does seem for the time being the internet as won this round.
However, file sharing on the web is an extremely popular and lucrative pastime; do you think internet users do this for free? No, they actually make money sharing files online using one of the many file hosts that are available and getting paid for every download. A file host generally has a three way favorable formula where the user gets their chosen files for free, the up loader makes money sharing files and the platform also receives revenue. Once a user creates an account to upload their files on one of the many file hosts they then need to work on directing traffic to the downloading link. This maybe through social networking sites, internet forums or through their own website or blog. Earnings can be $15-$30 per 1000 downloads so the upshot is the more people that download the files the quicker the payout. Some file hosts also offer up to 30% commission on referrals boosting the up loaders monthly income.
If you're keen to make money sharing files or you are a regular streamer of online videos then the S.O.P.A. bill, should this pass through Senate, will have a big impact on your ability to carry on doing so. For those users who rely on the income created by file sharing will see their revenue almost disappear as these file hosts will either be closed down or extremely closely monitored.