Piracy is a bad, bad thing. It hurts people who are putting forth a lot of effort to create original creative content for you to enjoy. But what do we do about it?
House majority leader Harry Reid announced today he is postponing a vote on a proposed bill called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) because of overwhelming protests against it. The bill is intended, as the lawmakers claim, to take drastic and definitive measures toward combating online piracy, but opponents of the bill say it will hurt internet freedoms.
Yes, the bill would go a long way to combat online piracy because it would allow the Attorney General of the United States to (very effectively) block any [foreign] site “if the owner or operator of such Internet site is facilitating the commission of [copyright infringement],” (the AG can already do that with domestic sites).
The problem, as many people see it, is the problem many people have with federal government in the first place: abuse of power.
Writing these bills into law would grant the AG far-reaching power that would affect many legitimate Internet companies. It states that if a site is “facilitating the commission of [copyright infringement],” Google, Bing, Yahoo, PayPal or any other site enabling traffic or funds to be directed toward it must effectively erase it from their indices and/or stop sending any money their way. Good for PirateBay.org (in my humble filmmaker’s opinion), bad for WikiLeaks (who doesn’t want their Wiki’s Leaked?).
Freedoms? Or Free Stuff?
With so much outrage against the bill, I am left wondering if people’s concern over the abuse of power is legitimate or if people just want to continue having access to free pirated content? Because that would be jacked up if you ask me.
Allowing piracy to continue at its current rate is hurting creatives, not just huge “evil” corporate studios. Independent filmmakers need to be able to sell their films online and are impacted even moreso than big studios by piracy. So I personally believe piracy needs to be stopped (or at least fought more effectively), but I also believe not a single drop more power should be delivered into the hands of the few.
So what do we do? Tell us what you think about this whole sticky situation in the comments section below.
We want to know what you think!