Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thank Goodness

As sites across the Internet went black on Wednesday, Congresscritters all across this land abandoned SOPA/PIPA like rats fleeing a sinking ship, and the measure was shelved.  Not defeated. Shelved. They'll try again in a few months.

Here's why SOPA is bad. To quote from, wherein, Ernie mentioned a post on The Truth About Guns and a round counting device that could go onto .357 magnum. The article concludes with a Dirty Harry Joke. It links to a clip on YouTube. Ernie said that if any site linked to that page, like I did, Under SOPA:

Warner Brothers goes directly to the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT does two things. First they order that all of the domains hosting -- OR EVEN LINKING TO -- the copyrighted material be banned from US based search engines like Google. Secondly, they FORCE financial institutions like banks and Paypal, to case processing all funding for all of the domains hosting -- OR EVEN LINKING TO -- the copyrighted material. And all of this happens without the case seeing the inside of a courtroom. Finally, some nice FBI agents -- or perhaps Immigrations and Customs Enforcement? - will be knocking on the doors of: Youtube headquarters, The-Truth-About-Guns headquarters, and my house since I linked to TTAG. We'll all be treated to a nice 5 year stay in FEDERAL PRISON and FINED UP TO $15 MILLION DOLLARS EACH

Kind of shocking. I admit I've stolen pictures. I never claimed I owned or created them, but I stole them any way. Hello, LOLcats. I'm talking to you.

The worst offender, though is SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith. Here. When it was pointed out that Congresscritter Smith was violating the law he wrote, he changed his site. Here. This meant that if SOPA had been in effect and his site had remained the same, Lamar Smith would have been facing jail and fines. So would anyone who linked to him. Like the Federal government. And if anyone had shared the link on Facebook, so would Facebook.

No one is saying that piracy should be legalized. All we're saying is maybe we should redefine Fair Use and think about the consequences.

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