I was going to write this really elegant post about why authors should be concerned about two bills going through legislation, Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, and how these bills would affect them. But someone’s already done that.
So, I’ll just add my spare change: I’m a creative type. I write. I make art. Take photographs. Create software. I even make music. You know what else? I’ve also had my work pirated. In some cases I didn’t mind because, well, it was free advertising, but in a few instances, it stung for a minute until I brainstormed ways to (successfully) use it to my advantage.
But I’m veering too far off course. My point is, although I’m a creative, the type of person these bills are essentially designed to protect from piracy, I think it’s all a crock. These bills will do absolutely nothing to curb piracy or protect people like me and will do absolutely everything to stifle creativity and innovation.
Scenario: You write something that criticizes something else, using excerpts under Fair Use, but the person whose work you’re criticizing decides she doesn’t like it and calls foul. She then posts a link to a seedy pirate site on your site via comments (you know, so you look like a pirate supporter) and then all she’d need to do is send a letter to the ISPs and payment processors and advertisers (assuming you’re selling your books or have advertising on your site) to have them deny access to your site and cut all ties with you—due process be damned. If you’re not flush with money to fight it, you’re dead in the water.
Yes I believe something should be done about piracy, but SOPA/PIPA surely isn’t it.
Take a moment to learn up on the subject at AmericanCensorship.org and then call your congressperson.