Share The Indy
The U.S. House of Representatives is considering legislation that could forever change the Internet. The measure in the House is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). A related
measure in the Senate is the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
Don’t kid yourself. These laws are about corporate greed. They are not attempts to protect copyrighted material. Here is some prima facie evidence of that assertion:
· Have you been to the movie theater lately? I went to see “Hugo” recently at the Cinemark Hollywood 16. We sat through 40 minutes of commercials. Remember when we went to the movies and got a cartoon, news and previews along with our feature film? Now we pay $8 or more to get bombarded with 40 minutes of ads and that does not count the previews.
· Have you looked at the prices at the popcorn counter? C’mon. What more need be said?
· Have you rented a video lately? Have you tried to access the special features? We found that now a rental video contains the feature file and little more. No outtakes. No deleted scenes. No director’s commentary. It’s more cost-cutting for the sake of more profit at the consumers’ expense.
· Have you watched TCM lately and seen the begging from The Film Foundation that wants donations to preserve old films? The board of the organization includes Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford. And these people and their studios, in an industry that make billions (yes, with a “b”) each year, don’t have the money to go back into their own archives and preserve their own work? I just don’t buy it. Look at The Film Foundation’s tax return here.
· Have you seen how the rock stars live? No? Really?
The reality is that if people want to pirate content, they can and they don’t need the Internet to do it.
Folks, this is not just about leaking a few dollars out of the pockets of greedy stars and corporations. I am less of a conspiracy theorist than I used to be, but I am certain that this is an attempt to kill off any hope of an American Spring, even if it is a peaceful one. This is a plan for the government to take control of the Web and ultimately kill off the free and open discourse the Web offers. As a result, it is an attempt of those in power to sabotage the kind of communication that could coordinate voting and voting blocs that could overthrow the incumbents.
The petition below respectfully asks Congress to not pass the measures, but it is quite possible that the representatives on the payroll of the big media will do their masters’ bidding. Some stories say that the Senate will kill the bill. And President Obama has said he would veto it — but we heard that about the NDAA, so it’s best to kill this measure as early as possible.
And while we ask respectfully in these petitions, those in Congress receiving these petitions should know their underlying threat. Some of us will do all we legally can to see supporters of SOPA and PIPA lose their next elections.
I am asking you to go to the links below and add your name to the petition. Please. The very democracy that undergirds our republic is at stake.