Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA/PIPA are bad ideas

Today, January 18, 2012, several internet sites "went dark" - meaning they shut down to protest two pending laws  we are in danger of being passed. I've seen several  good web articles covering this today. Here are some snippets that will help you understand what is going on if you have not been following this.

Simply put, the kind of copyright laws SOPA supporters (which include companies like CBS and Viacom and organizations like the MPAA and the game industry's own ESA) seek would make it very hard, if not impossible, to foster the kind of creative space we have carved out here at Experience Points. Government-endorsed censorship, blacklists, and monopolies have no place in the video game sphere, on the Internet, or any in any other realm of human culture and society.

Stop SOPA and PIPA

As promised, several major sites on the Internet have gone dark today in protest of SOPA—the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill that’s making its way through Congress as I type. The intention is good, but the proposed execution is horrifying: SOPA is intended to counter those pirating movies and other content illegally, but as Google explains, the bill would lead to paralyzing censorship. SOPA could shut down sites like Crushable, if we posted a video that a movie studio didn’t approve of.

SOPA Blackout: The Best Tweets From The #FactsWithoutWikipedia Meme

The reason everyone's getting so upset about the Stop Online Piracy Act is because it isn't just meant to crack down on those of us illegally downloading the new Adele single or watching that HBO show on Megavideo. SOPA casts such a wide net that it would affect the entire online experience as we know it, in ways that reach far beyond the goal of preventing file-sharing. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the possibilities amid the kerfuffle—words like "censorship" and "felony" have been throw around a lot lately. So we're telling you about some concrete changes that SOPA would set in motion. What would a post-SOPA internet look like? Here's a glimpse of a dystopian future.

What Would a Post-SOPA Internet Look Like?

The Stop Online Piracy Act asserts itself so broadly—it aims to regulate everything from counterfeit prescription drugs to intellectual property rights—that it’s difficult to begin to imagine all the ramifications. The only thing I know for sure about SOPA is that it would be a very bad thing for people who frequently use the internet—so, everyone—and that it would sit its big, weighty body on the fragile skeleton of free expression and crush it into a million little splinters. It would inspire fear in everyone who creates content online, even if they’re only doing it for their own Facebook friends, because most of us are ignorantly pirating or consuming pirated best-of clips of Groundskeeper Willie, making the sites we use most liable. YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google, Wikileaks: What we’re facing here is the death of fun, the end of profound, drool-inducing engrossment in 50 pages of someone’s sporadically-chronicled life, a ban on giggling alone at your desk.

How SOPA Would Kill Fun

Another video that should be watched is this one!

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

There is even a theme song for the protest!

The Day The LOLcats Died - #SOPA #PIPA Protest Song

One of the things we can loose is the legal right to post some interesting images, movies, and other user-created things. No more internet memes. This would be tragic. One meme I've been enjoying the past 3-4 months came from the video game Elder Scroll V: Skyrim.The line is  "I used to be an adventurer like you, until I took an arrow in the knee!".  The line has been recast in very interesting ways. Including this one dealing with SOPA/PIPA.

I used to be a blogger like you, then I took a SOPA and PIPA in the knee!

I Used to be a Blogger Like You… [Pic]
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