For the past few weeks, and especially over the past few days, everyone is talking about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), new legislation in the United States that seeks to punish people for posting pirated content. I didn’t pay much attention at first. I heard what it was, and thought "well, that's pretty cool considering i dont support illegal downloading, n i certainly dont want people illegally distributing the content i create.. so my first impression definitely was that people were mad that they’d have to pay for things they should have been buying in the first place..? Boy was I wrong.
i got home and googled sopa and was amaaaaazed at what i found.
If passed, this legislation will scare people from sharing any link or user-created content at all because if the government doesn’t like it--- you can & will be shut down. it instantly reminded me of that movie v for vendetta, where government controls the message at all times. i mean, that might sound a little dramatic, but those type of imagined futures don’t happen overnight.. they happen bit by bit, starting with legislation that seems like it’s meant to protect us (or so we’re led to believe) and then boom. we're stuck in a dystopian like society where our every move is controlled. legislation like SOPA, i think at least, will be the birth of that society if enacted.
&; not just that, but frankly, a lot of the people in charge of the government and even most business owners DONT EVEN USE the internet to much. they have interns who answer their emails and support staff who update their websites. so technically it's like we’re putting our faith to make good decisions about our industry in the hands of people who have no clue what this industry is about. that makes sense. . not!
SOPA doesn’t give you a second chance. I’m not advocating that a piracy site should get one, but i am advocating that a social sharing site, including forums, blogs that allow comments, social media networks, so on and so forth be given the chance to rectify any infringement problems, rather than just being shut down because a reader/user/member/etc. posted something that a content creator doesn’t like.
has any one even began to thikn about the gray area when it coes to infringement ?? SOPA will squash creativity like song mash-ups, spoofs, covers by amateurs, and more. so Karmin? ya, white girl who can rap as fast as busta rhymes who has three lungs? ya you would still be a nobody. even stuff that is technically allowed by law could be at risk because people will be scared to do a daaaamn thing!! today, they’re taking down videos of someone covering a pop song. tomorrow, they’re showing up at the small-town bar we’re you’re singing karaoke. yeah, sounds ridiculous but like I said, complete government control doesn’t happen overnight. Baby steps lead us down that path, a path where free speech is no longer allowed as we know it!!!
&& to take things a step further…what about opinion pieces like I’m writing right now? yeah it’s deff a leap, but if SOPA passes, could someone in the future read this post and categorize it as content that promotes piracy just because I disagree with an anti-piracy bill? that is pretty outlandish but you never really know with this bill.
REMEMBER: Baby steps.
Let me not forget to mention how ridiculous the penalties are for someone suspected of promoting piracy in any way. A content creator can completely cut you off financially in as little as five days, which is not enough time for most people to defend themselves. You could even go to jail!! that’s right-- jaillllllllllll. i believe it was up to five years or something.
Up until now, I’ve been pretty outlandish with some of my what-ifs, but something that is very real and that absolutely will happen if SOPA is passed is that really cool start-ups won’t have a chance to succeed simply because they don’t have the manpower to fight lawsuits or police what users are creating to the high standards that will be legally required.
Get out there and write to your congressmen and women. Blog about it. Support companies speaking out against it. Educate people who are, like me, in need of education about the topic. Let it be known, even if it passes, that you don’t agree.
I think I’ve ranted long enough, so now I want to hear your opinions. are you for or against SOPA ? what are you doing about it if you are or are not? && lastly, what do you think would be a better answer to online piracy? haha i don't expect any one to really answer that cus if you knew then we wouldn't have this issue in the first place :)