I have been reading recently allot about this SOPA legislation moving through our political halls, it’s designed to protect American companies from foreign piracy of copyrighted material.
I remember when I worked in retail many years ago people started sharing music as they loaded their music onto their computers, then there were the P2P file sharing programs. People were excited and those who were passionate about their music wanted to share. Of course I understand the music industry and what they feel they lost out to file sharing. I remember enhanced CD’s that you could pop into your computer and play music video’s and read interveiws. I thought at that time it was cool, and I figured that was the way they would go to make the actual CD more interesting then just copying the MP3 from somewhere.
But what the music industry did was plant a virus onto cd’s in the name of preventing copyright infringment. Then they asked ISP’s to tell them who were the people using P2P software. I don’t think they (music industry types), really understood the people they were selling their music to. Instead of spending money and time going after the music enthusiasts, they would have been better spending their time on producing a product that the user would want the physical version and not just the free copy; give the user extra’s!
This became evident when extra’s on the DVD’s became all the rage, the extra content was something that would make the user want a physical copy, not just a MPEG. And last year APPLE (bless them), came in with the iCloud, where a person can have the music they have scanned and by paying a fee, legitimize their collection regardless of where they got it. This is a smart approach to music and any copyrighted material. I thought at that time maybe the Music industry was growing up and would find there was always a better approach. But I was wrong, and once again the industry decided it’s better to have some sort of draconian control over the internet so they can enforce their business policies.
I hear about China and their pirated music and software, while these things are bad and should be dealt with. Many companies do business in China, and the USA is a big consumer of Chinese products. The USA can target the pirates directly through the Chinese government, increase tariffs on chinese goods; in order to have the Chinese government clamp down on piracy. This has occurred and is the correct way to deal with the issue.
I like the internet just the way it is, but we all know it’s not perfect, and there can be changes that will protect the user in the future that are being developed. There are sites I will never visit, haters and evil people do have a page on the net. And as long as it’s not to actually promote violence it’s called freedom of speech and that’s the way it is! I think what scares people about this kind of legislation is it seems so drastic! To have the power to just shut someone down without due process isn’t right in a free country. especially when we are not talking about national security or life or death.
The web is like the early solar system coalescing around the sun, planets forming in the rotating dust. Eventually it will evolve into a system that will I hope be safer to use, and free to enjoy for the continued access to knowledge we can’t do without all of a sudden!
Have a nice day!