My 2 cents about SOPA and PIPA

People/corporations are hoping to “eliminate piracy”. The concept is to make laws so tough and the punishment so great that supporting piracy becomes a huge liability. Nobody pirates, and corporations make loads of money.

The real issue they’re having is that many companies can no longer do “business as usual”. Their distribution chain has been broken. They can no longer count on advertisements pushing the songs or movies they want up-front. They can no longer rely on the system they’ve set up. To industry – it’s anarchy, and they hate it – it’s unpredictable. Don’t get me wrong: They love anarchy when it works in their favor (like when their content goes viral), but when they spend money on a advertising campaign and they can’t figure out why it didn’t make them money – they become attack dogs.

Corporations are looking at the money they aren’t making from pirates and thinking, “I want my content to go viral, and I want every single person to pay me something.”

Problem is: They can’t have it both ways. The open architecture of the internet is fundamental in why it works. Once you take openness away – you’re left with a managed stream of data, were every byte of content must be paid for by someone. Inevitably this leads to a “pay network” and a “side chained (free)” network. As always, the corporation will do everything in their power to reduce the viability of the free network as it doesn’t serve them except as an advertising stream.

In the end, SOPA and PIPA are not about piracy – they are about control. The internet was designed to have no head and no governing body. It is the purest form of anarchy possible. However, with regulations, with layers of control, we loose what was good about the internet. The internet becomes AOL – boring, stiff, bloated, slow, and monitored. At best it would be a paid gateway to pay content, and the free stuff would merely be allowed. Even then, “free” in the minds of corporations is monitizable. So, in the new order… nothing is free. But who gets paid? Do you think you’ll get paid for the content you create? Not without corporations getting a piece – that is the game they’re playing. This isn’t about piracy at all. It’s about the control of the internet, and inevitably deciding who gets to own the monitizaton of the internet.

SOPA and PIPA (or initiatives like them) will not kill the internet, but they will fracture it. Those of us who are technical will form our own side-chaned network, and we will try to make it as free as possible, but it will be a mere shadow of what the internet could have been. The network that corporations design will shelter themselves a little… but really, they’re buying time in leu of having to change their business models. Inevitably they will not make more money from all the pirates who no are no longer viable (if that’s even possible). What will happen is that corporations will have a toehold into tweaking the internet to fit their business model.

… and that’s my issue with SOPA and PIPA. If their business models don’t work… they need to change them to fit our needs. We shouldn’t be changing our infrastructure to fit their needs.

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