Thursday, January 19, 2012

Going Galt on SOPA

The internet went on strike yesterday. The list includes AOL, Craigslist, EBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo and Zynga. No big whoop. Even Kim Kardashian tweeted about it: http://twitter.com/KimKardashian. There are petitions too. There are already provisions dealing with piracy, and they are already being abused. If anything these laws need to be weakened not strengthened. Even as bad as SOPA is it will not stop piracy as deSopa has already shown, and it will turn people who have done nothing wrong into criminals, Like this guy.

Not to mention the serial hypocrisy of the people pushing these bills. The RIAA pirated episodes of Dexter, the MPAA pirates its own movies, and the bills' sponsors are copyright violators too.

I think a thought experiment would be fun.Just off the top of my head... If SOPA was passed today what websites would be shut down tomorrow and why?

Google: Links to copyrighted material and information about how to bypass SOPA.
Facebook: Links again.
Myspace: Same as facebook.
Youtube: Contains copyrighted material.
Ebay: Pirated DVDs.
Amazon: I'm sure the Amazon Market has a few pirated DVDs if you look hard enough.
Reddit: Links again.
Blogger: Even if blogger could effectively police its own users, how will all of those users police their comments?

So the day after SOPA passed every website you visited would only contain this:



I may be exagerating, but only a little. I'm sure that any site that ends in .gov or .mil will still be available.

Also if an artist posts there own music somewhere without the labels permission is this a copyright violation? The recording industry needs to face the fact that it is dying. By refusing to adapt it has given itself a death sentence. Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails both showed that there are viable ways to adapt. Edward Burns showed how it could be done with movies. Good riddence to failed business models. Savvy entrepenuers and artists will give the public something better. If the internet isn't completely shut down first.

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