Caught in the crossfire of an epic battle with pirates

Hey. You.

The person who treats Wikipedia’s content as Gospel.

This is for you.

I’m assuming you’ve heard about the encyclopedic service going dark today to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill making its way through Congress intended to wholly remove websites that are viewed as circumventing copyright law in one way or another.

I blogged about a similar bill, SB 978, a few months back. That bill sought to make it a felony to have copyrighted content in YouTube and other streaming videos.

If passed, SOPA and its ugly sister PIPA (the Protect IP Act), would make it so owners of creative content, or “intellectual property” if you fancy legal-ese, can demand Internet service providers like Google pull sites that have pirated their content from search results.

That comes with its own set of issues. It’s legislation meant to target off-shore piracy websites. But it’s pretty broad, and ISPs can pretty much block content based on “good faith belief.”

In addition, if you link to this content that’s questionable based on “good faith belief”, via Twitter, WordPress, Blogspot, Facebook, etc., those sites get pulled into the maelstrom, too.

This would affect and severely limit the information we all have access to. And it can, at its base level, all be traced back to avarice.The loopholes to shut down non-offenders would multiply like Jackson County stray cats, believe you me.

Very limited judicial oversight. Site blacklists. Digital McCarthyism.

Freedom of speech only as long as the fat cats at Comcast and Warner Brothers deem it appropriate.

George Orwell and Aldous Huxley are high-fiving somewhere.

P.S. – Agencies like the MPAA and RIAA already police the heck out of shared content sites like YouTube already. If a record company doesn’t want its song broadcast via YouTube video, it eventually gets taken down. See for yourself right here.

Idiocy and Redundancy really are the best of friends most days.

Here’s the thing: piracy is wrong. Wrong in all capitals, 72-font Wide Latin. But there are other ways to make it go away. Why not, you know, go after the individual sites? Why not figure out a way to cut off their advertising lifeblood?

This is comparable to attacking the circulatory system when we should be attacking the clots.

Oh, by the way, if you need to use Wikipedia today, hit the Escape key right after you type in your search query before the site completely loads.  Then soak up all the information you can, just be wary of the accuracy. Wink.

Hopefully we escape this legislation.

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    Ryan Pfeil

    This is a blog for southern Oregonians to check in on all things geek. Sci-fi, history, comics, movies, video/photo and anything else that would have gotten you shut in a locker in high school. Have fun. Read Full
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