The movie studios and major music labels are pouring a ton of money into these SOPA and PIPA bills. To cut straight to the point, consider the following scenarios:
1. A friend posts a link to a Youtube video on your Facebook wall. “Check this band out,” he says. So you go, “Okay, cool.” You have no idea if the uploader of said video has violated any copyright laws or if he owns the rights to post that video. You just click, watch, and go, “Huh, that was cool.”
Well, you are now a criminal under SOPA and PIPA. Do this ten more times and you will be eligible for a five-year stay in the penitentiary right alongside all the murderers, rapists, and child molesters. Meanwhile, Youtube as a whole gets shut down because of a complaint from the copyright holder. One complaint is all it takes to have the entire site blocked by the Federal Government. Facebook gets shut down as well for allowing a link to copyrighted material to be posted.
2. You find a pic of Samuel L Jackson from Pulp Fiction with a hilarious caption photoshopped onto it. So hilarious, in fact, that you feel the need to share it on a forum or a friend’s Facebook wall. Again, do this a few times and it’s off to prison with you, you heartless, thieving bastard. You are distributing an image from a film owned by someone else, so you must now be segregated from society.
3. You write a review of a movie you’ve just seen on your blog, and include a picture of the movie poster. You just don’t know when to stop, do you? Afraid it’s Guantanamo Bay for you, terrorist! (Well, maybe not, but you’re still going to prison!)
4. Your 10-year-old son can play a halfway decent rendition of “Enter Sandman” on his new guitar, minus the solo. You upload a video of him doing this to Youtube so that you can show off his skillz to all your relatives and friends, because you’re proud of him. Well, that song is owned by Elektra Entertainment, and you have NO right to distribute it without permission in any form. They might just bring back the electric chair in your case, and you can “Ride the Lightning” in the DEATH HOUSE, where you will share the same fate as countless other fiendish criminal masterminds have throughout history.
So what can you do about all this? You can contact your representatives, for all the good it will do. Better yet, you can contact Google, Amazon, Facebook and Youtube and encourage them to go through with the coordinated “blackout” they are considering as a protest. All of these sites would go “black” for a period of time to demonstrate how much of a shitstorm this would cause amongst the American(and international) public. I don’t think Google getting shut down would make any of these clowns in Washington happy. They use the internet as much as you do, and yet they are about to gleefully kill it because the entertainment industry is not only paying them a shitload of money to do it, but because they have been duped into believing that this is a “Don’t steal movies and music and you won’t have a problem” kind of thing.
Both Democrats and Republicans are supporting these bills, which just goes to show how stupid both sides are. Don’t let them do it. Spread the word unless you want to go back in time to 1992 when you didn’t know what the internet was.
I passed, the fallout from these bills will be disastrous for the entertainment industry, as they are essentially shooting themselves in the foot. Most likely it would eventually be heavily revised or abandoned entirely but in the meantime a lot of clueless people will be swept up in this digital witch hunt.