Hell Hath No Fury Like The Internet’s Scorn: The SOPA Soap Opera Continues
This cartoon pretty much says it all don’t you think. I’ve been wanting to add my two cents to the SOPA soap opera but I was hesitant to get involved until now because I knew my opinion wouldn’t be popular given the rhetoric and sensationalism we’ve been reading all over the internet. So I decided to watch from the sidelines and see how it played itself out.
Round one is over and round two is just around the corner. So I would like to give a slightly different way of looking at it that you have probably not heard before. After all, as a former litigator and mediator I’m wired to to see both sides to a story and I’m not about to stop now.
It’s the RIAA … of course!
In a nutshell we’ve been inundated with the story that SOPA is protecting the interests of the entertainment industry. Well in some respects that is true. I hate what the RIAA has been doing too. In fact I am one of the most vocal anti-RIAA advocates out there. But it’s not the whole story and the RIAA has become a convenient scapegoat.
You see, what SOPA is really about is an attempt to put a stop to the rampant content theft by making the enablers responsible. Nip it at the source instead of playing catch me if you can after the fact.
Or in other words, putting responsibility on the internet infrastructure to share the burden. That is the controversial part. It would be an effective strategy and that’s why it scares the hell out of some people.
Great Firewall of America.
We’ve also been hearing how SOPA will “break” the internet. There could be a trickle-down effect to sites that fall into a grey area that might not be intentionally enabling sharing of copyrighted music and movies, such as Google, YouTube and Facebook.
Countries beyond U.S. borders could also be affected such as Canada even if these sites aren’t running afoul of Canadian laws. But I can’t help but wonder how that could be enforced.
Smoke and Mirrors.
Yes all hell could break loose, but there has also been a lot of scaremongering by extremeists playing on the fears of social media addicts with hypothetical scenarios to frighten the beejesus out of everybody.
What they don’t tell you is it will also hurt a lot internet marketing blogs and put a dent in the content curator business. Which gives you an idea who is fanning the flames and why they are the most vocal group of all.
If we’re being honest here that is the reason behind a lot of the noise. It is revenue streams they are more worried about protecting. As always it’s not about right and wrong — it’s about the money, and that is a big reason for all the screaming.
I only mention this because there are a lot of factions at play and we need to see through the noise and keep our perspective.
Alternatively, nor am I a fan of big government in our face. But we have to look at the bigger picture. Yes, the mechanics of SOPA will need finessing but the basic idea is still valid and it’s not going away.
So when round two of the soap opera commences and you hear all the self-serving rhetoric and sensational headlines about how bad SOPA is, just look at who is screaming the loudest and whose special interests they are really protecting.
Or as I like to say — follow the noise.
So how will this all end? I’m not sure because admittedly it is a complicated affair. But if I was a betting man I would have to say the government will get involved sooner or later. The days of the Wild Wild Web where everything goes and business rules are numbered.
The bottom line is we the people need to decide who will ultimately be in control of the internet. Big business or the government. Because we are caught in the crossfire.
Like you I too am cynical of government, but I’m equally cynical of Wall Street. Personally I wish I didn’t have to choose, but if I had to between the lesser of two evils I would have to say at least I can vote out the politicians. But I can’t get myself on Google’s board of directors, and in the end that clinches it for me.
Google or the Government … you choose.
I’m sure that sentiment won’t be popular with some people but at least you can count on me to tell it like it really is. After all, “keeping it real” is what this blog is all about.
Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk about it…
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