SOPA, PIPA and The End of the Internet
By Peter Mosley
Having read and dug into some of the commentary on these new laws that the USofA are wanting to pass, I am just not sure where this is all going? I know where I would like to see it go ...
I look upon the Internet as an open medium. I look upon the Internet as a tool and that medium that can connect you and me. You at one end, me at the other. I have long believed that the more stuff (Throbbing gristle and jumping bunnies!) that gets in the way of that simple concept, the more we see the degradation of the experience. I have said this before, I know I sound like some sort of luddite, but I will not watch TV. I do not have one. I am very aware of the power of video, but I prefer not to watch it online. I can read, just fine, thanks.
I also will not stay on a site that flashes like a bad Vegas Street, blasts up interstitials, nor has so much crap going on I am distracted to the point of … well, I just do not care anymore about what I was going there for? One reason I have fallen in love with Clearly by Evernote BTW! (If you are like me - you will love this!) I personally want great content from my Net. And, that content is 90% utilities and tools. I do not want the Net to be cheap TV. The more the Net is like TV, the less we need it. I also do not want YouTube to be my personal Jukebox.
My understanding of these proposed laws, is that Hollywood, much like the music industry, more specifically the recording industry, have tried to stop piracy. Well, no matter how you try and explain and rationalize all this, piracy, to me, means stealing. If you acquire some sort of commercial product without paying for it, you have stolen it. I see nothing wrong with stopping that. It may be an obvious question, but since when did someone's commercial property become yours to steal?
I remember being called in to consult to I-Crave TV ... seemingly a million years ago. The very first thing I thought, and pretty sure, I asked was - "Do you think you will be online with this for more than a day?"
"Oh sure!" the owner boasted! "It is the Internet!" Well, they were shut down in a matter of hours.
I still believe if someone is interested in watching a movie, a TV show or hearing a song by their favourite artist, there is sound reasoning that they embrace the idea that it is not free. And they watch, listen, or purchase it, through the appropriate channels. Movie houses, your TV/Cable or on a CD or DVD. Or, am I wrong? Do you think everything should be free? Great. I will try that at the gas station on my next fill up.
For music there are tons of options. There are tons of places to get the music I am looking for. If I want serious hi-fi I quality, I'll buy a CD. If I want to check out a new band I go to E-Music and if I want to re-stock my ancient library of vinyl - that are now long gone - almost everything I have looked for - if it was transferred to digital - is on iTunes. It is seamless, it is cheap and it works like crazy. What's the big deal?
Now for the record as a life-long musician, and many years of that spent as a professional, I have no issue buying a CD or a bunch of individual songs. I believe it is the right thing to do. It is also the right thing to do, that folks buy the content I produced.
To me it is the same as acquiring a software program. You should buy it.
The essence of what PIPA and SOPA seem to be trying to do, is stop the rampant piracy of content. This was not a problem way back when, but the technology and the connection speeds we all seem to have changed the game. Yes, the game changed, but why should we? Or, have we always been a species that wants stuff free. No matter what the cost! And think about that for a moment. If everything is free, then coding, web building, advertising, SEO consulting etc etc etc ... should also be free!
Now, I am the last one who wants more laws or more rules. I am totally against censorship and detest being over-governed, but I do believe most everything I want, and in some cases need, is worth something. If I cannot afford it, the last thing I am going to do is steal it. Full stop. And continuiing on that logic, if you cannot afford $4.99 to rent a movie, $9.00 to buy an album, then you should be focusing on where you are on Maslov's Scale! But, I almost guarantee, that if you are reading this, you can afford the pitance it costs to purchase some entertainment.
Ask yourself, "Ok here I am at my work/job/office. I get paid by a company that makes Widgets. Why should I expect folks out there to buy my company's service/product if I am not prepared to pay for someone else's Widget? More plainly stated ... So, why, the hell, is your widget worth something, and their's isn't?
We do not need a PIPA nor a SOPA, if people simply did the right thing. Don't steal.