ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - YouTube videos and downloading free music could soon be done for good.
Facebook, Twitter, and many other high-traffic websites were created within the last eight years, but content creation could come to a screeching halt.
"You'll see a shrinkage of content creation and some of that would be people that are afraid," said Hakim Bellamy of the Media Literacy Project of New Mexico.
Bellamy says the bill in congress, SOPA , the Stop Online Piracy Act, and the corresponding bill in the Senate, PIPA, the Protect IP Act are missed opportunities to protect intellectual property. The attitude now is to take whatever information you can find.
"If you make anything and you put it on the Internet, you should just be opened to the fact that someone's probably going to steal it," said Rachel Cox, browsing the web at Winnings Coffee Shop.
If passed, the bi-partisan bills would give corporations the ability to police the web, with big penalties attached to violators. Bellamy says it gives them a large net to snag a few pirates, potentially closing the biggest websites down.
"Record industry companies say 'Hey that's my music and that person used it without our permission, we want to shut the site down,' you can see how that opens the door to shutting down sites of somebody karaoking to Justin Bieber songs on their Facebook," said Bellamy.
"We don't think it's broke so what are the necessarily trying to fix," questioned Bellamy.
The New Mexican co-sponsors of PIPA, Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman, and SOPA supporter Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, think it will do the job of stopping illegal activity online. Big time movie makers who film in New Mexico agree and are in favor of the bills too.
January 18th is a web blackout day in protest of SOPA.
Websites like Craigslist, Reddit, and Major League Gaming will be down for the day.
Lawmakers are expected to vote on the issue on January 24th.
Congressman Martin Heinrich is against SOPA and Congressman Steve Pearce is undecided on the bill.
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