17th October, 2013 // 18:36:09

Dear Notepad,

I will start off by saying that this post is special. Not my daily whatever-the-heck-I-wanna-write wayward capriciousness. This will be an essay, structured and logical, as it is my English homework to write for 40 minutes. My mother started worrying about my English. Not that she thinks I’m bad at it. It’s just that I have trouble constraining myself to a specific format, required in schools. I cannot answer questions, or rather, I am quite bad at analyzing and inferring information out of given texts. Nevertheless, here I am, ready to embark on a 40 minute journey of nervous hand-twitching...

The question -

Write an opinion piece arguing for/against a change

The question is very general, I can go in whatever direction I like. Here is a list I came up with which shows changes that occur everyday in the world

  •  Fashion
  • Weather
  • Music
  • Mood
  • Mind
  • Age
  • Law
Strangely enough, I chose Law. I’m not into politics, no, it’s just that I’m particularly worried about the law regarding the Internet .

The essay (40 minutes countdown, starting NOW)

The Internet is a huge project, created by many people over many decades. It started off as a TCP/IP protocol used to exchange data. It is a network of networks. There is no one creator of the Internet, however Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been recognised as the official inventor. He is also the director of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and he said that the Internet was “designed as a free place". Now, Internet is business. Big companies, Internet Service Providers earn revenue from it, charging huge amounts of money for connections that do not meet their advertised speeds, me being one of the many witnesses who experience poor Internet speed everyday.

You may have heard about SOPA and PIPA over the news, not so long ago. These acronyms stand for Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, respectively. These acts are able to change the Internet, undermine its foundation and destroy the point of its existence. These acts would mean that any websites which host copyrighted information free of charge would be taken down and blocked immediately. Furthermore, websites which provide links to free content would also be taken down and blocked. Piracy is a big issue, but these acts would take a lot of harmless, useful content down with them. Websites like Flickr, Vimeo and Wikipedia (not to mention millions of others) would all have to be shut down if the bill was to be passed.

Everybody has equal rights. Or so it seems. We can’t ensure free speech even on the Internet. Sites get blocked. Content removed. You can go to jail for up to 10 years for online piracy. Luckily, it is not illegal to download copyright-protected material.

On the other hand, if I was to be a popular artist, or a musician, my content would be transferred and shared on the web a dozen of millions of times, I would lose a lot of revenue. Just like Adobe :)
But I’m no musician, nor a famous artist. No problem with IP.

To conclude, I say, the Internet should be a free place. Don’t go copyright, go copyleft! Who is not tired of seeing the word “Premium"? The web should be open source, a place where no law exists, a place where anyone can contribute and modify, share ideas and produce new, innovating things, ready to change the world.

I have to confess, I went over the time limit. Just by 10 minutes. Exam-wise, that’s a lot. And I didn’t write that much. I was carried away and forgot about my P.E.E. structure and the requirements. Hmm.

If I was to go over my time limit, I would add -

Companies are eager to launch youth-inspiring projects to get us to learn to code and explore the world of Digital. One of such projects is CodeCademy. It is an inspiring, easy-to-use learning platform which teaches and introduces one to programming. I found it very useful and interesting. However, I don’t quite see the point - why do investors put in so much money and effort in comparatively small projects when they could think out of the box - make the Internet free, as the number of people who do not have access to the web is staggering. Invest in that. Tim Berners-Lee called for free Internet worldwide, a few years back. In the article he stated that “currently, just one-fifth of the world’s population has access to the web", implying that “paid" Internet should end. Furthermore, Berners-Lee said that he would like to see everybody given a low-bandwidth connection “by default".

There, that was a nice paragraph. I would have went over my limit by 20 minutes, if that counted. I should improve. I am slow. When I write passively, I take at least an hour on average to complete writing a blog post.

$root - whoami
internet freedom activist
10th October, 2013 // 20:02:10

// Go back in time

18th October, 2013 // 09:12:10

// To the future

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Tagged under Homework English