Saturday, December 17, 2011

SOPA Not Super

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a bill going through Congress ostensibly aimed at stopping online piracy. In reality it looks like a payoff to big political donors in Hollywood who want to stop the dissemination of their products among people not willing to pay top dollar.

This is short sighted as people who download torrents and sample music are more likely to pay for the products at a later point than those who do not. In many ways their mindset resembles that of football club owners who for many decades resisted live televisions coverage of games because they didn't realise that it fueled the demand for tickets rather than replaced it. However they have the right to want their intellectual property protected by the law.

 The problem with the bill is that the powers to enforce copyright are so vague and punitive to advertisers and search engines that wealthy producers merely need to threaten a site to effectively kill it.

A committee seems to have delayed the legislation for now but it isn't dead yet.


JuliaM said...

Personally, I've never bothered with music, or films (especially since they come out on DVD so fast) but I do use torrenting to see US shows that don't make it here for months.

Ross said...

With music I've found free apps that allow me to download whatever I want anyway. I occasionally watch downloaded films and stuff but that's when they take to long to come out.

Anonymous said...

The false assumption that these people make is that every downloaded (or historically, home recorded) song or film would have been bought, if the cheap alternative was not available.