Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA and PIPA

Lobbyists for the entertainment industry have convinced Congress to create two bills called SOPA and PIPA that could trounce on creativity and innovation on the internet. Because they give so much power to Congress to regulate the internet, these bills, if passed, would give corporate entities unprecedented power to sue, issue takedown notices, and block internet access to anyone they feel is limiting their profits in the guise of "copyright infringement" or "insert random reason here."

The entertainment industry is lying about the actual losses from piracy on the internet, and they've convinced Congress that they are actually losing hundreds of billions of dollars from piracy when the majority of the reported losses are 1) fake and bloated numbers that overcount the number of downloads occurring, and 2) counting "sales" lost at 19.99-50.00 per unit in countries where the average family makes 1,000 dollars or less a year. They would NEVER buy the DVD, CD, etc. They simply can't afford it. But instead of understanding that the problem lies in their archaic pricing structures in these countries, they are fear-mongering the American public under the guise of capitalism--that once these laws are passed the American economy will gain hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue.

Check out this infographic on the MPAA's impressive resume for embracing technology. This statement is laced with trace amounts of sarcasm ;D.

This is FALSE. Not only will these bills significantly hamper innovation by placing restrictions on new venture capitalists and all companies that use the internet (which will negatively affect our economy in the hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars over the lifetime of these bills), it will hamper freedom of expression and communication in comments, images, and web content out of fear of infringement. All a company has to do is level an accusation about me, for instance, writing a book that seems really similar to their ad for men's cologne, and despite the ludicrous nature of the allegations, Amazon has to take down the book out of fear of not only litigation, but the US congress actually having the power to remove their company's access to the internet.

This is absolutely ludicrous. Leave it to lobbyists and congressmen and women to come up with something this ridiculous.

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