Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Re: Sopa/Pipa Censoring the internet?
To steal (OH NOES! SHUT DOWN THE FORUM!) a couple of analogies from others' commentary on it.
1) It is in effect like blindly blazing away with a machine gun at a crowded street corner hoping to hit your college pot dealer
2) Shooting first and maybe asking questions later
It is overbroad, over penalizing (felony for streaming? Really?) and way too easy to abuse. For example you could potentially post infringing content to a competitors website and then report them for copyright violations to get them shut down. Since there is effectively no oversight on this, expect after the fact, DNS companies and financial companies are effectively legally obligated to "shut them down" under the law unless or until they get a court order telling them to rescind the blocking.
Away with the issues (and those are just a few), the biggest issue as showing a NEED for this legislation (especially in overly broad, overkill form that it is now). MPAA, RIAA, etc have been completely unable to show a scope for damage (other than some completely made up numbers, I mean that in the kindest way possible). The GAO (Gov't Accountability Office) a couple of years ago was completely unable to determine a scope of damages for copyright infringement.
Is piracy an issue. Yes. Should we try to find a way to fix it. Yes. Is the scope of the true damages as bad as some of the content industry is claiming? No. Note: Plenty of studies HAVE showng that most pirates focus their money on derivative goods and other things, such as a rise in concert attendance, physical movie properties (action figures, mugs, shirts, etc) and so on. So in a lot of ways, money is stilling flowing to copyright holders, if not in the same manner and the overall amount of piracy on top of that is up for debate as is the perenial question of "If they couldn't pirate it, would they spend the money to buy it anyway?"
Is this attempt like swatting a misquito in time square with a tactical nuke? Yes.