Why I Am All For SOPA
I’m getting real sick of everyone thinking they deserve a free ride.
Internet and tech types got their collective tighty-whities in a bunch this week because Congress was voting on the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, which essentially would have made it a felony to illegally duplicate and disseminate copyrighted materials online.
In essence, stopping the free music and movie gravy train that everybody has been riding since Al Gore invented the Internet.
Wikipedia, Tumblr, and other major websites blacked out in protest. It seems that these people somehow think stealing creative works is somehow protected by the first amendment.
Well, movie thieves, sorry to break it to you but intellectual property theft was not an ideal our founding fathers set out protect.
I DON’T EXPECT YOU TO WORK FOR FREE, DON’T EXPECT ME TO
I am one who makes part of my living off creative endeavors. In my case it’s writing, but it’s really not much different than music or photographs or anything else that creative people use their time, effort, talents and energy to produce.
So I NEVER want anything I’ve worked for to just be given away, unless the people who have paid me to write it deem that appropriate. Now this site is free, and the operators choose to give away the content. Fine. They pay me and after that how to make money off what I do is their decision.
BUT if they decided this should be a pay site, and I found some site reproducing my articles and GIVING it away? I’d be PISSED. Like when some on this site were trying to scan my Cosmo articles and post them on here. Uh-uh. Not cool. You pay for it or you don’t read it or you come over to my house and read the copy (which I paid $8 for) on my coffee table.
WITHOUT INCENTIVE, THE TALENTED WON’T CULTIVATE TALENT
So I’m actually all for SOPA . I really don’t think it’s fair to the creative people who spend a lot of time and energy producing stuff to have it devalued and given away for free. If there’s no monetary incentive to producing quality work, then it will cease to exist. And that is damaging to our culture.
I don’t download music for free, unless there’s no way I can find it on a pay site. I don’t stream movies (except on Netflix, which I pay for) and I don’t download TV shows or movies. The arts and entertainment are based on the concept that you have to PAY for them. If we don’t, it’s only going to get worse as talented people will find more lucrative ways to use their talents.
DON’T GO HIRING A LAWYER JUST YET
Now I understand some are trembling at the thought of prison terms for illegally downloading music. But let’s stop and think for a minute about laws vs. enforcement of laws.
The police in Miami have a hard time arresting drunk drivers and drug smugglers. You really think Metro-Dade and the FBI are gonna spend any of their resources arresting a kid for lip-syncing to Justin Beiber on YouTube? Sure, the penalty is there as a deterrent. But I’d be shocked in anyone ever served time under SOPA.
Internet piracy is a serious epidemic affecting the creative industries. The civil suit route is obviously not working, so what other options do we have? Lacking some criminal teeth, what’s to stop everyone from stealing our work forever? Illegal downloading and streaming is theft. And last I checked, theft is a crime. So why are we even having this discussion?
ALL THESE PICTURES ARE FROM CREATIVE COMMONS
And before you all jump on me as a hypocrite, yes, I admit, I’ve used other people’s pictures on this site. If it were criminal, I would not. We get cease and desists occasionally. And we cease and desist. And if SOPA were passed I would find other ways of posting images. Common use sites, my own pictures, or other resources. I’m willing to give up my hijacked photos so that we can stop the widespread theft of creative work.
You all are too used to getting a free ride. Having to pay for things that other people worked to produce shouldn’t be looked at as irregular. Rather, it should be the norm. You want to watch a movie? Pay the ten bucks and go see it. You wanna hear a song? Shell out the $1.09 and get it on iTunes. Stealing my work is not free speech. It’s theft. And all SOPA is doing is reminding us of that fact.
“SOPA” picture from http://intergalacticrobot.blogspot.com/
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