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Worldwide SOPA

As I write this, SOPA is not yet law. It hasn’t even been voted on in Congress. Free speech advocates across the country have banded together to fight this bill. I’ve been planning a post on the particulars of the bill, but enough has been said over the past few weeks that I’m not sure what more I can add. Suffice it to say that I am against any attempt to treat people as felons for violating “intellectual property”. When ideas flow freely, we all benefit.

What scares me the most, though, is the way the idea of protecting IP at all costs has infected all levels of our government. Big Media is likely to be seen as holding the leash of government in the coming decade the way Big Oil was in the last. The State Department, for instance, is trying to bully our trading partners into accepting draconian IP protection that hasn’t even been able to pass in the US (yet).

If you’re reading this blog, you probably fall into the gaping chasm that many in our government labels “criminal”. What’s infuriating is that this criminalization of a large class of Americans is happening without what feels like a real debate. It’s conventional wisdom that something must be done, and that rather than heeding the advice of the experts, we should wield as large a club as our political capital will allow. Consequences be damned, something must be done now.

Of course, I think most Americans would say that the problem is overstated, to say the least. Rather than being a drain, the technology of the last 20 odd years has allowed creativity and entertainment to flourish (outrageous reality show of the week not withstanding).

Related reading: Dear Congress – It’s No Longer Okay To Not Understand How The Internet Works

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Categories: Politics
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