If you haven’t heard of SOPA (and PIPA in the Senate) then you really need to. Supposedly, it’s about protecting IP from revenue-destroying piracy. In reality, it’s about old-school cabals desperately hanging on to a buisiness model which afforded them monopoly-like profits. In so doing, it will give the Federal government a Orwellian like ability to censure the Internet by enabling them to order DNS (the service which turns an ip address into “http://www.painfullyhopeful.me”) to block access to “rogue sites.”
“So what’s the problem?” you might ask. After all, only the “bad guys” are goign to be blocked, right? Wrong, dead wrong. See, in SOPA there’s no recourse for sites which are accused of being “rogue.” They simply get shut out, end of story. The responsibility, then, is for the people running those sites to prove their innocence — this is the opposite of how our legal system supposedly works. Moreover, DNS is the very backbone of the internet, and our foreign policy is to blast any government which blocks DNS as violating human-rights. The fact that the people making these Laws don’t see this as ironic at all is mind-boggling.
SOPA and PIPA must be stopped becuase, in reality, there is no problem. iTunes and Amazon have shown, beyond a doubt, that when people are afforded an easy way to pay for content (which they can use as they want) they will. The pirates will continue to pirate no matter what draconian measures the MPAA and RIAA purchase from Congress – most poeople will be happy to pay for a decent experience for the content they want. It has always been that way, and the sooner people demand this from content providers the better off we’ll be.
If you want to read up on SOPA and PIPA I recommend this excellent post from CNet. Then, write your representives and tell them this is a horrible idea.
I also recommend this wonderful piece “How Copyright Industries Con Congress” to find out where the bogus numbers used to promote SOPA actually come from.