This is a decent enough introduction to SOPA and Pipa. I find it staggering that the authorities and the entertainment industry seem incapable of realising that the genie is well and truly out of the bottle. There is literally nothing they can do at this stage to return to the days of widespread copyright protection and any attempts to impose an authoritarian version of it will backfire.
I’ve said before that the debate over copyright is (as with so many other things) something that many seem incapable of thinking of on any level beyond the most trite and superficial. You’ll hear people complaining about ‘illegal downloading’ but they will have zero problem with Spotify paying a pittance for ‘legal’ streaming, or listening to unreleased songs on Youtube. There is an inability to engage with the morality of the entertainment industry and their modes of operation.
Amusingly, I think there is also a strong tendency for many artists to blame the internet for a lack of success which any dispassionate observer can see would not have come anyway. I’ve seen unknown musicians speak with dewy-eyed fondness of a period when musicians could make a living from making music, as if 30 years ago there were countless 18 year olds making decent money from their garage bands. Obviously the altered landscape throws up challenges but it also offers infinitely more possibilities.
Governments try shit like SOPA/Pipa because they think they can rely on a populace incapable of fully thinking about the morality and implications of such laws. This is why a household name like Wikipedia taking a stand was so important. It remains to be seen whether it has any effect given the disease that is ‘representative democracy’ in the West.