Posted by: Katie | January 18, 2012

SOPA/PIPA

First, let me reiterate this: MY VIEWS ARE MY OWN. Thank you.

Now, SOPA/PIPA. *Sigh*. I keep hearing that even if senators and representatives are not the brightest bulbs in the outlet, they do employ people who are. Well, if they do, the senators and representatives have been ignoring those employees. There’s been some particularly poorly thought out legislation in this past, but SOPA/PIPA has got to be in the top 5. Especially when the committees charged to investigate the impact of the legislation deliberately chose, for as long as stupidly possible, to not invite testimony from noted and cited experts on the technology directly affected.

I am one of those “creative” people affected by copyright and piracy. I have published works of fiction which are available in electronic form. I’ve regularly found copies of my work, as well as offers of copies, up on web forums that were not authorized distributors of my work. Do I think SOPA/PIPA are the solution to this problem as the MPAA and RIAA would have you believe? No. For the issues of piracy of my work that I have come across, there are routes of remediation available to me in *existing* legislation. Do I think the enactment of SOPA/PIPA would harm future revenue, such as it is, from my works of fiction and other creative endeavors I may choose to engage in? Yes. This is because I actually have an understanding of how the internet works. I also believe that this legislation is unconstitutional as it denies the act of due process. The United States’ judicial system is based upon the idea of “innocent until proven guilty”. Well, SOPA and PIPA would throw that even farther out of the window than other recent legislation.

A friend of mine on Twitter said, completely not related to this issue: “Seriously? Who closes a main road during rush hour?”. That is what Congress is trying to do. The Internet is our main road and rush hour is this current period of creative endeavors. I do believe in copyright reform. I don’t believe in copyright reform that solely “benefits” corporations such as MPAA and RIAA at the expense of everyday citizens and small-operation creators.

I’m also a librarian. This is why I ask you not to agree with me, but to educate yourself.

SOPA: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.3261:
PIPA: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:s.968:

Contact your legislators with YOUR feelings on these pieces of legislation: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

ETA: You might also want to check out the US Copyright info site and this little clause called “Fair Use”: http://www.copyright.gov/

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