January 19, 2012
A few weeks ago I had a great meeting with Congressman Jim Cooper and a group of smart people about SOPA. Kudos to Mr. Cooper and his team for meeting with us and proposing the round table. I truly appreciate having been included in the discussion.
The round table consisted of myself and friends who are like-minded when it comes to being troubled by the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), but it also included a few people who support SOPA. The conversation was naturally heated, but good things came from it.
I had follow-up conversations with members of the round table, both people I consider friends. I did some serious thinking about the proposed bill and how it would and wouldn’t affect Americans and the Internet as we know it. We didn’t even discuss PIPA, which we really should have, since it affects Americans even more than SOPA.
I even had a fantastic discussion on Google Plus, so that I could be better informed exactly how SOPA would affect the Internet specifically.
What I have concluded
What I concluded is that the entertainment business has changed, the models are different now and it’s up to the artists, songwriters and content producers to change with the times too. While piracy is serious, it is also something that will never go away, so we need to adapt and change for this reason.
The two bills leave way too many questions unanswered, they are incredibly vague, which troubles me deeply. Without clear legislation proposed, no one should support SOPA or PIPA.
Please take 15 minutes to watch (or listen) to Clay Shirky discuss these topics in a recent TED talk entitled, Why SOPA is a bad idea. I think he does an incredible job at breaking it all down clearly. Decide for yourself and then act accordingly. If you can’t spare 14 minutes, then maybe you should go ahead and disconnect from the Internet right now. Seriously.