||[Jan. 24th, 2012|10:27 pm]
I should really be writing a decent article about all this SOPA nonsense, but I have been particularly tired and low in inspiration for the last week or so, so here are the main points I was going to make:
1. Content creators are not the enemy. This is the most important point. Most of them are ripped off of more money by corporations - the same corporations that tried to get SOPA enacted - than by all the kids with all the MP3s in the world. And a surprisingly high number of my friends are content creators, so I will look rather unkindly on any attempt to blame them for the SOPA stupidity.
2. Nobody should waste any tears on Megaupload. It was run by a crook with a long criminal record, and among the equipment seized from their headquarters is what, shorn of the technical jargon, is a sawn-off shotgun. (And apparently they found the ringleader cowering in some sort of 'safe room'. So much for the Internet Tough Guy).
3. Unauthorised downloading is wrong. So is driving at 101 km/h on the motorway, or letting off fireworks any time other than the week leading up to November 5th. There is a reason that attempts to group unauthorised downloading with serious crimes such as robbery (or even terrorism - seriously - on one of my DVDs there is at its start one of those ridiculous ads making just that connection) are so widely ridiculed - telling people that You Are Wrong!!! isn't a good marketing technique in the first place, and continuing to do so while becoming ever more shrill about it doesn't make it any better.
4. Much of what gets called 'piracy' could just as easily be called 'free advertising'. You Tube is the classic example of this. Even to my (reasonably tin-like) ears, the sound quality of anything on You Tube is horrible. So if I hear something, and like it, then the first thing I think of doing is going to buy the CD. Even if the artist only gets a few cents of the $30 - $35 cost of a CD. Because it's at least got decent sound.