Just Keep Swimming

My Thoughts on SOPA & PIPA

I've made my stance on copyright infringement and "piracy" clear in the past.

A person who creates art and entertainment has rights to that created work. There is a moral and legal obligation to protect those rights. A creative person puts a lot of hard work and time into their creation, and so they have the right to choose how their creation is presented and used. The artist deserves to maintain their rights and get their proper compensation. I am also saying this because my very livelihood and ability to support my family hinges on copyright laws. I create works and sell it on a daily basis, and I rely on my ability to maintain the rights to what I've created.

Despite saying all this, I think SOPA & PIPA are some of the most harmful and dangerous legislation that has ever threatened to be passed.

I compare it to the equivalent of me looking in the mirror and noticing a zit is on my nose. I then decided to fix this problem by beheading myself. Yes, I got the zit off my body, but now I'm also dead. It is solving the problem by causing far more.

I haven't decided if SOPA & PIPA are just really extreme acts to control copyright violations and internet piracy (Yar!) or if the copyright portion of the act is a disguise to help push forward governments' long term wet dream of finally controlling the internet.

This is the problem. These acts are a direct violation of freedom of speech and the exchange of ideas on the internet. It allows the mass blacklisting of websites without almost any just cause. It'll allow major corporations and entities to block sites that they don't agree with under the disguise of the site violating some type of copyright law. It is censorship to the highest degree and will harm all the things that make the internet a worthwhile endeavor.

Under how these acts are currently written, my own site would be blocked and blacklisted. This act will do a rather nasty job of crushing any other media start-ups. It will actually absolutely suck dry any form of free speech and free exchange on any of the social media sites. The internet will become a police state.

Some people want to paint SOPA & PIPA as the protector of artists and copyrights. As I've said before, I am totally in agreement with protecting copyrights, and feel artists have rights to their creation. But these acts are not the way to do it. The language is too lazily constructed and the measures are far too extreme. I actually think these acts will harm the potential for new artists to be discovered and rise up through the internet. These acts will actually be harmful for the creation of creative and innovative works.

Copyrights are not some construct that just protects the fat cat media heads of entertainment conglomerates. They're extremely valuable to the small artist who create works in their basement and are just struggling to get by. I'm far from rich, but I rely on copyright laws. But this act actually is beneficial to your big billion dollar entertainment conglomerates, and essentially nobody else. If there is any benefit to these acts, then they are left worthless by the censorship that is being imposed.

I think the biggest proof of SOPA and PIPA's harm is demonstrated by artists that are allowing their sites to go black in protest today. These are talented individuals that rely on copyrights to protect their works, but they don't feel SOPA and PIPA are going to be worth anything to them.

I encourage you to follow some of the links on those sites and sign the petition if you agree these legislations are harmful.

And if you have no clue what the heck SOPA or PIPA are, then well, read up on that too.

Since most of the internet is black today anyway, you mind as well go find a panda and hug it (or do something else non-internet related).