Here’s what SOPA means to me

SOPA Rufus Dogg

I just need to get this off my chest: The entertainment industry does not “overcharge.” It prices its products to what the market will pay for. Just because it is too expensive to YOU, does not mean that anyone is “overcharging” anyone. Quit flinging that around like it is fact. It is not. Just because you think it is expensive, it does not give you the moral right to pirate stuff.

Ok, that being said, here is my really short take on SOPA.

SOPA is a bad idea because of the enforcement power it gives the US government and copyright holders. The real issue goes something like this: If Ally Bank or Petco wanted to expand out their Rufus dog characters in future commercials (you have to Google them; I’m not going to lead them here) their legal team might slap me with a C&D and take down my blog, G+, Facebook and other sites as my name is Rufus and I am a dog. I would have little recourse with my domain registrar. Or the corporation that owns me might somehow offend a minor league baseball team on the East Coast and decide there is some confusion with their fans and order a takedown of my company I’ve held for twelve years before they even threw out their first pitch. (same name with one letter difference at the end)

Who would hear my redress, my government? HA! Just ask the Eat More Kale dude how his little venture is going.

Of one thing I am certain. Law enforcement has and will use laws far beyond their intended purpose. I am sure some bureaucrat at the Department of Homeland Security has been poring over my blog since the day I started writing, wondering how to apply some provision of the Patriot Act to initiate a take down order and throw my hairy behind into an unmarked prison cell for an indefinite amount of time without a warrant.

But that might just be the heart worm meds talking.

Copyright infringement (piracy) has been a severe problem for more than a decade now and has essentially hammered an entire generation of creative class into simply not producing much of value that does not include a remix or some reality show. Writers with talent are being exploited, filmmakers being ripped off and photographers have just been put out of business. Something needs to be done, but SOPA ain’t it. But I think somehow a form of it will pass because the entertainment industry is huge, well-heeled and very pissed off.

Don’t misunderstand me by citing that I am anti-SOPA. I am not. I am anti-the-enforcement-provision-of-SOPA. That is all. The rest of the bill that protects the rights of the creative class, I’m right there with them. I think Google, YouTube, Huffington Post and tons of other sites have gotten a free ride for a very long time. They have built obscenely profitable businesses without having to pay for the true cost of their inventory.

Tech without content is a store without goods. Tech without content is crap nobody wants. The entertainment industry does not really need tech to distribute anything. It wants it, but does not need it. If Amazon, Apple, Google went away tomorrow, entertainment still owns printing presses and movie theaters. And we would buy books and go to the movies again.

Yes we would.

For those who are interested in finding out more about what piracy has done to the creative class, read Free Ride by Robert Levine. Then craft your own opinions about SOPA and piracy.

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About Rufus Dogg

I'm a dog who writes a blog. It is not a pet blog. It is a real blog that talks about real ideas. No, really. I do my own writing, but I have a really, really cool editor who overlooks the fact that I can't really hit the space-bar key cause I don't have thumbs. I talk about everything from politics to social issues to just rambling about local problems. And, sometimes I just talk about nothing in particular. Google+
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5 Responses to Here’s what SOPA means to me

  1. ModernSauce says:

    As someone who creates designs for a living I’ve seen first hand how useless laws against “protecting” creative works really is. Sounds great on paper – noble cause – but the only people that really win are the lawyers. At this point if one of my designs is stolen or “ripped off” it’s like a badge of honor.

    And then we call the lawyers… ; )

  2. Lisa says:

    The DNS blocking provision is now being removed. Interesting to see where this now leads us. The future of the web is mobile, and more content will be moving into apps.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2398917,00.asp

  3. Rufus Dogg says:

    Now that the White House has weighed in, it i not likely that SOPA will proceed at any great speed… unless the GOP takes the White House and the Senate. Then, we will see how influential corporate money really is… and the “real” money is not in the tech companies.

    The bigger issue is one of human frailty. When law enforcement figures out that the tech people are way, way, way smarter than they are, they will start lashing out in frustration and use the provisions of SOPA to target the little guys who are more easily scared and just want to make a living with the Internet. That is what happens with most of this legislation, i.e. war on drugs, COPPA compliance, privacy laws, etc.

  4. Lisa says:

    “When law enforcement figures out that the tech people are way, way, way smarter than they are…”

    Yes, and way smarter than congressmen, like Senator Ted Steven’s, who think that the internet is just a series of tubes:

    http://youtu.be/f99PcP0aFNE

  5. Pingback: My #SOPABlackout thoughts | DogWalkBlog