Some websites will go dark today in protest of SOPA.
SOPA is a bill working its way through Congress which could lead to censorship of the internet regardless of its original intent.
The intent is to put a stop to piracy of content. Movies, music, entertainment in general has been a prime target for online piracy. Foreign countries have, for years, been grabbing this stuff and selling it overseas thus robbing American artists and industries of profits.
I think we can all agree that those products should be protected- but SOPA, according to its critics, goes way too far.
The problem is in the language of the bill. “Search Engines” is a VERY broad term and one that is prominent in the SOPA bill.
We could go into great and confusing detail over the legal language and the possible meanings of it – and other sites have done that – but there is something much more basic which should be said.
With this bill, SOPA, and it’s somewhat less intrusive Senate Bill, PIPA, the internet would become, either in small or large part, regulated by Congress.
That should not be allowed to happen.
The bill will come up for debate most likely in February in the house. There shouldn’t be any debate. It should simply be dumped.
To understand what’s really going on, one needs to look at who is in favor of this bill and who is against it.
Those lobbying hard in FAVOR are basically, media companies and the entertainment industry. They have something to protect. They are the ones losing out on profits.
Okay, we get it.
On the anti-SOPA side are internet companies like Google, Ebay, Mozilla and so on. THEY are the ones who, through these regulations, would be punished.
Okay, we get that too.
Here is where I believe the real problem can be found:
Congressional regulation of the internet in the name of security.
Are we really, seriously, contemplating turning the security of the internet over to the same people who brought us the Patriot Act? Are we thinking of allowing the same bunch who allow 6-year-old kids and 85-year-old nuns to get hand searched at airports to decide who gets nabbed for internet piracy?
At a time when we’re trying to get a handle on the overreaching government, we’re going to debate allowing government to overreach in the cyber world?
While we can all agree there IS a problem, it’s the proposed SOLUTION where we disagree, and that should come as no great surprise.
Those in FAVOR of this legislation are, by and large, liberals even though the actual bill was written by a conservative. Liberals are the ones lobbying FOR it and lobbying hard.
Those in the entertainment industry do what liberals do naturally. They turn to the government. Government, to liberals, is the answer to every problem.
Should SOPA be made law, it would necessitate a whole new government entity to regulate the internet thus growing the size of government.
If this new entity works as well as the EPA, what could go wrong?
Right now, the EPA is fining oil companies for not using a fuel additive which doesn’t even exist.
That is government overreach.
Here’s an idea.
Where internet property piracy is concerned, why not allow the innovators to innovate?
Rather than putting this in the hands of government where, in so many cases, the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing, put this problem in the hands of those whose innovation actually CREATED the cyber world? Would THEY not be better equipped to find ways of STOPPING piracy than government?
Allow the PRIVATE sector, entrepreneurs, innovators and tech geeks to do what THEY do best rather than allowing government to do what they do worst.
Those who CAN, should reap the benefits of finding a way to stop the pirating of copy-written material. Their products would be greatly sought after and create billions of dollars of revenue for the industry which wants to turn to the government first.
The internet companies would also make billions of dollars selling their innovations.
Here is the difference.
We could SPEND billions of dollars of TAXPAYER money on GOVERNMENT solutions that overreach at every level and won’t, in may cases work while tying up large and small website owners, search engine companies and financial institutions in endless and expensive lawsuits which would simply put many OUT of business…
We could GROW the ECONOMY and create jobs becoming the world leaders in the PRIVATE sector by finding new and innovative measures to PROTECT both the entertainment industry AND the website, search engine and financial owners in the cyber world.
The Stop Online Piracy Act, SOPA, was introduced by Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21] and now has 30 cosponsors.
Rep Amodei, Mark E. [NV-2] – 11/3/2011
Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] – 12/7/2011
Rep Barrow, John [GA-12] – 11/14/2011
Rep Bass, Karen [CA-33] – 11/3/2011
Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] – 10/26/2011
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] – 10/26/2011
Rep Bono Mack, Mary [CA-45] – 10/26/2011
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] – 11/3/2011
Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] – 10/26/2011
Rep Chu, Judy [CA-32] – 11/30/2011
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] – 10/26/2011
Rep Cooper, Jim [TN-5] – 12/12/2011
Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [FL-19] – 10/26/2011
Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] – 10/26/2011
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6] – 10/26/2011
Rep Griffin, Tim [AR-2] – 10/26/2011
Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] – 11/30/2011
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] – 11/3/2011
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] – 11/30/2011
Rep Lujan, Ben Ray [NM-3] – 11/14/2011
Rep Marino, Tom [PA-10] – 11/3/2011
Rep Nunnelee, Alan [MS-1] – 11/3/2011
Rep Owens, William L. [NY-23] – 11/14/2011
Rep Ross, Dennis [FL-12] – 10/26/2011
Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] – 11/14/2011
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] – 10/26/2011
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] – 12/7/2011
Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] – 10/26/2011
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] – 11/3/2011
Rep Watt, Melvin L. [NC-12] – 11/3/2011
Contact them and tell them there is no way they can do a better job of solving this problem than the private sector.
Bottom line…If there is money to be MADE, let the private sector handle it and reap the benefit of it.
If there is money to be TAKEN…the government is the best bet.
There are hundreds of thousands of brilliant minds in the private sector to be brought to bear on this issue and less than 600 in government at least one of which, every year, seems to Tweet picture of themselves without their pants on.
Tell the people in the above list to keep their pants on and let the private sector handle this one.
- MiddBlog “Blacks Out” to support the anti-SOPA movement (midd-blog.com)
- SOPA Shelved – For Now (omgubuntu.co.uk)
- Meetups mobilize against PIPA and SOPA (meetupblog.meetup.com)
- Internet censure: the ‘anti-piracy bill’… (persvrijheid.wordpress.com)
- Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Talks To CNN About SOPA and PIPA Faults [Video] (inquisitr.com)
- Wikipedia blackout: Why even supporters question anti-SOPA move (csmonitor.com)
- SOPA, PIPA and bills like them want to kill this blog. And yours. (thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com)