As a musician and composer, I really do understand the beef that’s behind this, just as I understand how it affects royalties on music, movies, etc. What I also understand is that this legislation also infringes on the rights of the people – it’s being call a violation of the First Amendment.
Even thought I understand it, I am totally against SOPA/PIPA. They don’t call this “the land of the free” for nothing and these pieces of legislation threaten to end that and give the media the right to shut down websites and the like – and because they believe they threaten their business.
There are a lot of bills presented in Congress on a daily basis and a great many of them never even make it to committee unless they’ve got some serious clout behind them, in this case, the media – read that as that section that produces things we love, like music, movies, and the like. In short, people all over the world are stealing from them and, well, they want the US Government to stop it by taking away our First Amendment rights and asking for the power to shut down any website that’s not to their liking.
It’s censorship… and the United States of America resists censorship like no one else on the planet… until now. This is really a continuation of what got Napster shut down back in the day and gave birth to the new Napster and, yep, iTunes. The argument: If you want it, pay for it! The counter-argument: If I already own it, it’s mine to do with as I please and if you don’t want me to sell it to anybody else, okay, no biggie – I’ll just give it away for free… because I can do that and the law says I can!
If this passes into law, you’re gonna see websites being shut down like it’s nobody’s business. And, sure enough, if some group decides that WordPress isn’t making them happy because of all the stuff that gets written here, you might, one day, go to do some blogging and WordPress will be gone… because the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.
I’m protesting it and have already written my representatives to vote “Fuck No!” to this intrusion of our rights. Yep, piracy is a global problem and there’s tons of money being made that, say, Sony isn’t getting their cut of. It is a very real problem and I do understand it… but I’m totally against being violated like this because they can’t come up with some other way to protect themselves and those they represent.