I’m not someone who’s ever been accused of being an activist. I mean, I’ve written a manifesto or two, I suppose — who hasn’t? But I wanted to say something about the pair of bills currently on everyone’s mind, because they’re kind of insane. Here’s a good analogy to show just how insane:
SOPA and PIPA are the effective equivalent of blowing up every road, bridge, and tunnel in New York to keep people from getting to one bootleg stand in Union Square — but leaving the stand itself alone. [source]
But what can I say about these bills that smarter, more articulate people haven’t already said? I was going to try to speak from the perspective of a publisher who’s more interested in supporting talented writers and who would rather have more people read the awesome stuff those writers have written than use the vise-grip of copyright to squeeze every last penny from it, but you know what? You shouldn’t listen to me, you should listen to Tim O’Reilly.
I was going to talk about how the benefits of copyright law today skew toward the various content industries rather than individual creators, and I was going to try to do this from the point of view of a writer with a nonzero amount of tech savvy, but Cory Doctorow has way more cred than I do and has totally got this covered.
I certainly can’t do a better or more informative historical overview to these bills explaining just why they’re harmful than Wetmachine’s own Harold Feld.