Today has been a dark day for the Internet.
All across the Internet, website have been shutting down in "protest" to the Stop Online Piracy Act, which is in congress at the moment. It threatens to give a powerful minority unprecedented control over the Internet in North America; shutting down website and blocking links that they believe lead to pirated copyright material.
As you might expect, the Internet is ablaze with protest - but from my perspective it actually rings a little hollow.
You see, Internet piracy is a real issue. I mean it's a REALLY, SERIOUS issue. I will agree with protestors that SOPA is not the effective way to stop it, but in all this protest we've kind of forgotten the issue at hand:
The Internet has given people the unprecedented power to steal other people's stuff.
The Internet has given people the unprecedented power to profit off other people's stuff.
And in all this effort to protest SOPA we kind of ignored all that. We got so caught up in being high and mighty about censorship and Internet control that we completely ignored the fact that SOPA is about a very legitimate issue that impacts any and all of us who attempt to profit from stuff we create on the Internet.
Be it movies and music on bittorrent, or whole episodes of shows uploaded to YouTube, it's meant that copyrighted material that people have invested time and dollars into is available FREE for anybody to take and do with what they will.
And that ruins it for all of us.
So check out some ALTERNATIVE voices about SOPA today; so you don't just buy into the bullshit the pro OR anti camp are selling you:
The Exchange Coffee House