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Snap-O Fact #91

President Obama Takes A Moral Stand For Freedom Of Speech!
With all of the positive accomplishments that the Obama administration has brought forth in the first three years of this administration, on occasion positive movement is wrought by not signing a bill, but by just saying no. There are two bills afoot to Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) have been opposed by President Obama at the beginning of 2012.

The two bills force the President to choose sides between high visibility Hollywood donors and America’s first amendment right - freedom of speech. The two bills generally limit the use and access to some materials online. This is clearly a form of government controlled censorship. The conflict stems from the fact that people in the entertainment industry are understandably opposed to people ripping off their artistic work without fair compensation from those downloading their music or movies without paying traditional royalties to the creators. 
This makes sense but the issue is more complex because, as the other side argues, Constitutional Free Speech will be violated if they can't download songs and flicks. In their most draconian aspect, if the two bills become law, a citizen may be punished under the law by simply uploading a Michael Jackson’s song online.

The dilemma created by the introduction of these Acts pits the artists against a majority of Internet users and many of the Internet companies including Wikipedia, Google, Mozilla Firefox, etc. The question boils down to should the rights of the artists be protected or should the United States Constitution be upheld? President Obama has weighed in with his answer by opposing the two bills to protect American's freedom of speech, ability to spread information, and free use of the Internet.