Noel Schutt

SOPA & other problems

It is good to see all the opposition to SOPA and PIPA, including today’s website blackouts. The flow of information due to the right to free speech is necessary for a democracy to function. SOPA and PIPA will have a negative impact on free speech and fair use, all for the cause of allowing a few giant corporations to squash anyone who they merely claim is assisting in infringing one of their copyrighted works. Copyright infringement is already illegal and there are already sufficient enforcement mechanisms to deal with piracy. It has already been shown that some if the industry copyright enforcement actions—such as CRAP/DRM—are actually counterproductive, so why anyone thinks SOPA/PIPA would help is beyond me.

But the silliness of SOPA/PIPA isn’t my point today. The outcry against SOPA/PIPA is good, and hopefully gets the attention of our “representatives.” But where is the outrage about even more important issues? A healthy planet is necessary to sustaining life, but other than some minor stories about the Keystone XL pipeline protests and fracking, climate change and other environmental problems aren’t getting much attention. Much of the coverage these problems get is uncritical repetition of various politician’s claims that the problems don’t exist. Or what about abortion? There are about 2200 abortions per day in the United States, even though the right to life is one of the most fundamental rights.

Protests and letter writing campaigns against bad laws such as SOPA/PIPA are good, but we must also take serious action against other important problems.

Now, for a funny thought….

If I was evil, I’d have created one of the anti-SOPA/PIPA JavaScript overlays. It would be a nice clean one that you can click to get around, and it would have a cookie for each site so you only see it once. But then, half way through the day, I’d insert an ad that must be clicked before viewing the site. Muhaha!

But I’m too ethical to do that, which is why I’ll never make any money.

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