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My View of SOPA

January 19, 2012

I’m against copyright infringement… unless I do it.  I particularly dislike finding my articles on other people’s sites without permission or accreditation.

So I understand the desire for SOPA (which is legislation to prevent piracy on the Internet).  Upon reflection, though, I’m against it.

Let me be the first to admit my love/hate relationship with the web.  Any idiot with an opinion can post it online (like ME), it can become a black hole for time, and most horribly disgusting of all is the human trafficking and exploitation human beings that the porn industry promotes and enables.

In fact, let’s start there.  Let’s ban porn on the web.  That would be wonderful.  Really, it would be.  Human trafficking would be slashed to a pale percentage of what it is now.  People addicted to it would be frustrated yet temptation would be abated.  Respect for women might begin to flourish again.  So let’s ban porn.

Except that it wouldn’t be wonderful at all.  Think of the filtering software we’ve installed to keep our and our kid’s eyes safe.  The attempt practically shuts down your web access.

The problem is that “porn” isn’t easy to define.  Sure, we know it when we see it and so much is absolutely without doubt the bad stuff.  But who defines porn?  Me? I’d like that.  I’d trust myself not to shut down cooking sites with recipes for chicken breasts and plump thighs.  In fact, I am my best censor.  I know what I don’t like and I don’t go there.

But I wouldn’t be the censor and neither would you.  Some government agency would be, and my, don’t those all work well?  Porn would become hate speech which would become religious speech, which would become mild chastisement of the current administration. 

And enforcement?  Forgetaboutit!  How do you enforce the wild nature that is the web without completely breaking it?  You don’t.  It’s like trying to police the tide.  And that’s the main problem with piracy: enforcement would come down to regulation and that would put sanctions on hosting companies and access companies.  Good by cheap Internet and web cafes.  Goodbye blogging and Facebook (go ahead, run your personally created text through a plagiarism engine.  I do this stuff for a living and the best I get is 87% original.

The Internet is a highly destructive force on our society; it is the downfall of many individuals.  And it’s protected free speech.  They aren’t trying to legislate free speech, but it will.

SOPA and PIPA can’t be passed.  Tell your congressman (because they’ve always listened before, right?  Still, give it a shot.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 19, 2012 9:55 pm

    Good post, Rob. I sure don’t need any more blogging challenges.

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