By now, anyone connected to the internet has heard about the protest against SOPA (and PIPA). I’ve refrained from joining the chorus because I have not had a chance to really formulate a well reasoned post about how very bad this bill is. I try, but then I get pissed, my blood pressure rises and I have to walk away. I still can’t write anything well reasoned, but time is ticking so I might as well rant.
Short version of why it’s bad? Both SOPA and PIPA are written so that they will be easy to abuse. Very easy. They’re written so that a shit-ton of stuff falls into the category of bad, and with no real check in the process, websites can be taken down in a flash.
You never want a law that’s written with this kind of broad brush stroke. Even if your site is taken down for the wrong reasons and you have the best, cleanest defense ever in the history of ever…you still have to argue it. That’s the bitch of the law. Sure you’re innocent until proven guilty and all that shit, but in the end, the cost of a trial (mentally and financially) is a kind of punishment itself. And the time involved? If someone wants to damage you, well, for some people, having their website down for the time it takes to work through the damn system and get it cleared up is enough to spell ruin.
The thing about these bills is…it’s already begun. SOPA and PIPAarejust two more in a line of crap-tastic legislation that impinge on our freedoms of speech and expression in the interest of protecting an obsolete business model. It started with copyright extensions (every time we get close to Mickey joining the public domain…), then we had the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which put us on the road to PIPA/SOPA….
I feel like I’ve been a Ranger, watching this coming darkness on the edges of the world, and now it’s finally out in the open so everyone sees what I’ve been watching for years now. It’s kind of a relief, actually, despite the fact that what’s ahead of us is the equivalent of a Pelennor Fields full of Orc, Southrons and assorted other badies of a Mordor-esque variety.
If these become law, we all become a little less free and, with the exception of a tiny minority of business asshats in the entertainment industry, we don’t get a damn thing out of this.
I guess I don’t need to tell you we’ll be going dark tomorrow, do I?