You've all heard of Sopa somewhere by this point, right? You're probably tired of hearing about it, right? Wondering when this whole mess is finally going to be resolved?
Well, on the fifteenth of December, congress is finally going to decide once and for all- for real this time- whether to enforce it, or can it.
People are talking about tomorrow being "The last day freedom lives", and getting ready to delete their accounts the next day, be it on DA, youtube, or well, pretty much anything.
Up until now, pirates have been punished individually. This person or that person gets in trouble for copyright infringement, and the other denizens of the internet continue their quiet lives undisturbed, for the most part not having to worry about getting in trouble. This bill will change everything. Now, you are accountable for what the pirates do. Even if most of the people who use the internet regularly are honest folk who don't use copyrighted material as they shouldn't, there's always still going to be a least a few who do and will never stop. A site like youtube CANNOT exist without a few of these, simply because they'll always be there and it's futile to try to stop them completely. It is impossible to find every individual tech pirate and purge the web of them... so what's the next best thing that can be done? Just kick EVERYONE out.
Fanart is no longer acceptable. Music videos and the like are no longer acceptable. Even if someone posts a link to some copyrighted content in a measly comment, some corporation would come along and shut down an entire website, regardless of what all the other users of said website do. The point of it is to terminate "websites DEDICATED to copyright infringement", right? Sounds like a site where almost everyone infringes copyright, doesn't it? Well, no. Apparently, if any user has the means to post copyrighted content, if it's even POSSIBLE for copyrighted content to appear anywhere on your site, than the whole site has go... which is, like, EVERY SINGLE WEBSITE THAT ALLOWS USER INPUT IN EXISTENCE. This is like dropping an A-bomb on a town filled with innocent people just to kill one guy you'd only need a sniper rifle to get.
But let's also look at how this possibly could affect the individual.
"Uh oh! You videotaped your cat playing with your baby and left the radio turned on while doing so? COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!" FIVE YEARS IN JAIL FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY!"
"Uh oh, you dared to let your out of state pals see you playing a videogame??? COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!!! FIVE YEARS IN THE SLAMMER, YOU LOWLIFES!!!".
You may as well send a swat team to comic con and arrest all the cosplayers for dressing up as copyrighted characters. Hey, maybe that could actually happen?
Lately, several ads have been popping up on the air, propaganda created by people in the entertainment industry who whole heartedly support the internet being dissolved. Really cheesy, flashy and bombastic, IN YOUR FACE commercials that make pretty much anyone who regularly uses a computer look like villain. The way these ads are directed gives them the feel of a shitty blockbuster movie that insults our intelligence. Big surprise.
This nonsense has been going on in the 1643.
"The Printing Press Will Kill Literature!"
"Phonographs and Player Pianos Will Kill Music!"
"VCR's Will Kill Television!!"
"The Cassette Will Kill Music! Again!"
"Pirated BASIC Will Kill Software Development!"
"Digital Piracy is EVIL!!"
See, the entertainment industry needs to accept that people pirating and distributing their products is inevitable. No one wants to waste what precious little money they have in this economy on Hollywood's shitty little overpriced plastic donuts just so we can endure their shitty little blockbusters, so if anyone can find an alternative that makes their lives a little bit easier, they will.
One could argue that this only hurts the economy more by forcing people in Hollywood to lose their jobs, and sends us further down this spiral of doom, but that would be a moot point. As things stand, the internet has led to many people getting jobs and stimulating the economy. So many, that what the entertainment industry contributes to society PALES in comparison to the amount of economic growth given rise by people who commonly use the internet to start new jobs. If you had to sacrifice one for the other, it would be wiser to side with people rather than a few corporations governed by greed and self interest. If this bill passes, more harm with be done to the economy than good.
Plus it's not like everything we do actually HURTS the entertainment industry. Take a look as those guys on TGWTG.com. Every time they review something, there's a HUGE rise of people who start buying the products featured in the review like crazy! It's good to actually show people a taste of what you're talking about so they might wanna see it, too!
Let's look at why this bill is useless. While entire websites could essentially be placed under a worldwide cockblock (it does not matter if you are in America or some other country), one could still access said websites if they can find out what the IP address of said website is and type that down in the searchbar instead. So not only does this not yield any positive effects, it's relatively easy to work around, which makes it pointless.
With all of America's flirting with fascism in recent years and increasingly sinister activities, it's becoming increasingly apparent that our country is little by little being bought out by these corporations and ruled BY them. If this bill passes, no one will be able to deny this any longer. Considering all the people on the rise to oppose this bill, not only the good citizens of America but countless people in other parts of the world, as well as many industries that support the growth of the internet and oppose the bill, the only way this bill can pass is if the corporations supporting it somehow do prove to be too powerful, which if they do, will be the final nail in the coffin as the spirit of America as we once knew it finally dies. Congressmen would HAVE to be under the thumb of these corporations in order to shy away from supporting their own voters and choose the support of a few lobbyists.
I don't think it's any stretch to say that this bill would effectively cripple our modern civilization. We are so dependent on the internet in this day and age that if it was suddenly so difficult to use because this site or that site just vanishes, we're basically being kicked back into the 90s. This is our lightbulb. This is our phonograph. Without it, we would regress technologically. I know may be a little over dramatic about all this.... but there really is too much at stake here for us to let this pass. Some like to think such a thing is outrageous, if not downright implausible, and could never succeeed, but it is indeed on the verge of passing.
Thankfully, Ron Wyden is going to propose a rewritten version of the bill that is much more specific, fair, and in turn, smarter. Let's hope it passes in the form.
If it does pass through congress in its current form, Obama just may be the country's last hope. If he decides not to veto it, though... god help us all. enjoy your freedom for the next day, 'cause you just may lose it the day after tomorrow.
>sigh< all this drama so a few butthurt rich folk can sell a few more useless plastic disks.