Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA, PIPA, and the internet strike

[Edit] The official protest is over, so I've returned the banner to normal, but the post below will remain in the blog... because there's no reason to delete it.

I am not blacking out Nyeusigrube today because I lack the technological confidence to do so and be sure I can get the website BACK in the future... but I am in support of the strike against SOPA and PIPA.

I am a US copyright holder. I am a published novelist and I rely on the income generated by copyrighted material. So why am I not in support of legislation designed to protect copyright and combat internet piracy?

Because the way SOPA and PIPA are written, they will certainly FAIL to protect copyright in any realistic fashion, and in doing so, will violate free expression and the freedom of the internet.

To quote Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Though not in the original quote, many times this is paraphrased with the addition of "... deserve neither liberty nor safety, and will lose both." That is what these bills aim to do- sacrifice our first amendment rights, and sacrifice innovation and creativity, in favor of theoretical security that will harm more people than it will actually help.

Given we're talking about legislation, a lot of the articles on the web are pretty tough to get through (though more are readable today, now that the news is taking notice of the web-strike), but this post gives a pretty concise explanation of the problem:

In case anyone out there is wondering, if SOPA or PIPA goes into effect in anything near its current form, will shut down. As I said, I support copyright protections; I rely on them. But I barely have the time to check the forum and reply to posts. I do not have the time to police every post, every avatar, every signature, every link and every site linked from that. I chose not to go into law enforcement for a reason. This law would give me the option of becoming a police officer, or leaving the internet.

Hey, maybe hardcover book sales would go back up if we banned the internet?

... if only there were some way to advertise them...

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