The internet has revolutionized the way we do business. A lot of businesses depend completely on internet for survival. Internet may be like a chaotic network where multiple standards often collide but still billions of dollars trade happens on it. Many large companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook depend on internet entirely for their business.
Internet promotes cross border trading of products and service . Internet generates revenues which provide taxation to governments around the world.
Additionally, internet helps
facilitate businesses to reach customers where it costs to set up shop physically
facilitate collaboration without traveling
scale operation without adding additional manpower
However , in my opinion business on internet need to be classified as risk, more if your business deals with people uploading files or commenting on your blog.
A new legislation called as SOPA was about to be enacted to bring down the sites that deal with unauthorized copyright material. However critics say that SOPA could be used to stifle innovation and give arbitrary powers to a few to control the internet.
For a business, SOPA may be a big risk, in my opinion. At anytime if any site is found in violation of any copyright law , it may be shut down. That means the ability to conduct business would be seriously hampered. If your important data is on the cloud servers( remote servers) , you could risk losing it.
Internet might thus come as a strong risk to your business. If you are solely dependent on it then it gets more real.
It is bad if arbitrary rules are applied.
It is a fact that jobs bring prosperity and prosperous people tend to follow law and order.
Internet is a tremendous source of jobs. Designing and creating internet business requires special skills which helps create new jobs. Also, newer technologies get developed with innovative business models leading to further job creating. A few companies in the internet arena become very successful and thus provide jobs to millions.
Why it will all be over?
If the crackdown on websites is arbitrary, business would consider doing business on the it as a risk. The fear that their site could be put down in a moment’s notice would cause them to pull back the investment. As a result, new technologies, business models will not develop and business on internet may be reduced.
That would impact a lot of entrepreneurs too who often risk their hard earned money into building sustainable business models. Blogging sites too, for example would be under constant stress of closing down even if they make unintentional mistake.
Collaboration will die because there is no investment
With innovation gone, the collaboration to develop new businesses and ventures would be gone too. It would essentially bring down the whole idea of entrepreneurship enabled by internet to an end. The cost of doing business will rise tremendously and thus small business will find it extremely difficult to survive.
Where will the money come from, then?
Entrepreneurs often create products that make customers come out of their comfort zones and spend a little more.
Without innovation there will be no products, no jobs, no revenue and no taxes for governments across the world. That means a large loss to the world economy, lesser jobs, lesser entrepreneurship.
A consensus driven approach is the best option
A better way for government’s all across the world is to create systems that do not hamper innovation but protect copyrights because innovations are source of economic activity. Often new economic activity is vital for growth of world economy which is the worry of all business and world leaders right now
Conclusion: ( to the governments of the world)
Do not stifle innovation
Create right system to handle copyright issues
Support new ways of doing business rather than blocking them