« Why School Choice Fails | Main | Director of Federal unmanned drones is also on the boad of a company that makes them »

I am a professional "content creator" and I am against SOPA and PROTECT IP

If you, your family, or friends are having trouble groking why folks are up in arms about SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act, take 10 to watch these Colbert Report clips (posted with rights holders' consent and encouragement--or, damn, at least I *hope* so; otherwise they're going to shut down this entire site and lock me up for 5 years [not a joke!; those are actual provisions in SOPA]).

Just to reiterate: I'm a professional writer. This is how I make my living: I write things, I sell those things, people send me checks; those checks aren't big. I have royalty agreements on some stuff, but have yet to ever see an actual royalty check. (I also write other things, for which I never expect fungible payment; this is one of those. Since I read lots of things that other folks write with no expectation of seeing a check, I'm eager to likewise contribute to the largest and most accessible lending library in human history. Let us call this process "dropping a dime in the heavenly jukebox.")

SOPA and PROTECT-IP do *nothing* to help or protect "content creators" like me. In fact, almost *nothing* that's happened in copyright law since the 1960s has done anything to benefit the vast bulk of all artists; it *has* done a great deal to enrich corporate rights holders (who were often robbing those artists you love. Please see the biography of *any* bluesman ever for details.)

Here's the takeaway: These laws bludgeon regular citizens--like yourselves--with no corresponding benefit to the workers who did the heavy lifting (and when I say "workers" I don't just mean the writers, musicians, actors, etc. My *publisher* doesn't use DRM on their ebooks; user-level piracy isn't a threat to their business, and they know it). This law is for 1%ers.

As an independent business person and content creator in the economically depressed state of Michigan, I've contacted my reps raising these very points; they've been at best ambivalent. So, if these laws sound like a bad idea, and you want to contact your reps, that'd be great. Tell them David Erik Nelson sent you; he's a "content creator" and he's against SOPA and PROTECT IP.

SOPA Censorship Bill on the Colbert Report