In case you haven’t seen Google, Wikipedia, the New York Times, Boing Boing, Reddit (if you’re a junkie like myself), or a plethora of other concerned sites, you probably should know that today marks an Internet-wide sound out against the SOPA/PIPA bills that are being floated through Congress right now.
A few key narrative points, again if you’ve been living under a rock under the sea under a giant Beluga whale:
- The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are pieces of legislation that would allow the US government and copyright holders the ability to shut down websites thought to hold material that violates copyright laws.
- Theory and practice at odds with each other as always, this will probably lead to a mass centralization of Internet regulation power into the hands of a very small, typically very rich and very powerful, few.
- The typical technical arguments held against SOPA and PIPA is that this will impede capacity for innovation and freedom of information.
- But the more general argument is that certain people are just being dicks.
- More information click here and here and here and here.
I mean, sure, copyright law (and theory and culture) is one of those infinitely grey areas, and people who have created things should have the right to protect their own shit. But this is definitely akin to imploding your house to get rid of the rat that found its way into your underwear closet.
The Internet is an ecosystem far more complex than you or anyone else can ever imagine (viva la Hayekian Pretense of Knowledge!). Don’t fuck with it.
If you’re so inclined, use the picture above. Or make yourself useful somehow. Or go here.