Wednesday, January 18, 2012
What do SOPA and PIPA accomplish?
Wait, what? No.
I said, "It's not my job or financial responsibility to ensure that you don't give away your product for free. If you don't want me to have free cable, that's your problem, not mine."
The charge was removed.
I bring up this story because it makes me think of the issues underlying SOPA and PIPA, which are laws before the House and Senate respectively. They both provide the ability for the US to block websites that host pirated content. That seems pretty innocuous at first, but you must keep in mind that the entire site would be blocked for the posting of one piece of copyrighted content - by anyone, not just the owner of the site, but any user-generated content. Think of YouTube, Wikipedia and blogs where content is created by everyone. If anyone messes up, the whole site would be gone.
Now, whose responsibility is it to protect this content? To me, this seems similar to the cable company wanting me to pay for their inability to restrict my TV access. The MPAA and RIAA are two of the main sponsors for SOPA and PIPA, they are also the organizations who have sued individuals for hundreds of thousands of dollars for piracy. It's primarily their concern, so the primary burden should be on them. They don't want to cut into their profits, so they push ISPs and the government to do their job for them.
We already have anti-piracy laws on the books. The MPAA and RIAA are already successfully prosecuting pirates for huge sums of money. They can already take down US sites that are found to be pirating content. What more do they want? They want the ability to restrict the access of all Americans to any website that they deem to be pirating content. Also known as censorship.
Whose job is it, anyway?