« Wall Street advisor calls Romney out on deceptive business practices | Main | Guest blogging at Man Made DIY is *GOOOOO!!!* »

Anti-SOPA, anti-PIPA Roundup

OK, I've had this post-it filling with SOPA/PIPA links for a few weeks now, and it's time to get those out to you good folks.

A brief overview of my personal position on SOPA and PIPA (summarizing this, this, and this): I'm a "professional content producer." My experience--as well as the professional opinion of my publisher and the handful of small-fry "pro content producers" I've talked with--is that consumer-level piracy (which is the *vast* bulk of "piracy") has no real impact on my capacity to earn a living, and likely is somewhat *helpful* to someone of my miniscule stature as it serves as an extra zero-effort marketing channel. Conversely, far from "destroying jobs," the free, open, and highly functional Internet I've enjoyed for the last 20-ish years has actually *made* my current lifestyle *possible*. My congressional representatives, literally, couldn't give two shits about my opinion of or experience with intellectual property rights; I've written to them outlining the above on several occasions, and they invariably send back boilerplate assuring me that they "share my deep concerns over the importance of protecting intellectual property and American jobs" (or whatevs).

My offerings to you, Dear Mojonauts:

  • Of these links, the best--and most concise--is this interview with Tim O'Reilly (DISCLOSURE: O'Reilly founded the company that distributes my geeky DIY book. I'm pretty certain he has zero idea who I am, or cares one way or the other. Nonetheless, the folks I know who've met him say he's a very nice man, and this gave me a decent opportunity to plug my book.)

  • MythBuster Adam Savage explains how SOPA is anticonstitutional, not just unconstitutional. (via)

  • A very sharp lil piece about how SOPA/PIPA will hurt regular folks--that's folks who are neither infringers nor paid content producers, but just Regular Janes and Joes doing regular stuff like sharing funny pictures of their cats or blogging about their baking experiments. (via)

  • Here's a fairly technical treatment of how SOPA/PIPA might have to work at the DNS-level (and why all these options are bad) posted by DynDNS (who provide our nameserver services; we bought a "lifetime" membership when they were still two dudes in a dorm room, and have vastly benefited ever since).

  • Very briefly on how SOPA/PIPA makes corporate bullying highly profitable (double trouble!)

  • This one's just sorta funny, in a "but the trains will run on time!" sorta way. (FYI, for a time Poor Mojo's Newswire was banned in China.)

  • Heck, even the PotUS is against SOPA now--which is cold comfort, as he still seems to favor something SOPA-ish. My own, personal position is that SOPA/PIPA is a matter of industry folks with obvious financial incentives agitating to fix a problem that, for the vast bulk of actual live Americans (as opposed to corporate-human Americans), is not a problem at all.

    So here's the ask: Contact your senators and representatives. If you've already contacted them, please *do so again*.

    What to say?

    Well, if you're a professional "content creator," then say so, and point out that these laws don't help you (in that piracy *really isn't a problem* unless your name is Viacom) and *do hurt you* (because they reduce Internet security, accessibility, and innovation)--all of which are vital to modern job creation.

    If you're a Regular Jane or Joe, then these laws don't help you (because they protect companies with unworkable business approaches--see Tim O'Reilly's piece), bog down innovation (again, see Tim), and potentially rob you of your right to non-infringing speech (by taking entire services offline when even a single user is *suspected* of infringing).

    As an aside: It's 2012; it's hard to use the Internet now and *not* be both a Regular Jane consumer *and* a content creator (example: Do you use Twitter or Facebook? Are you consuming or producing when you do so? If you weren't adding things to Social Media, no one would show up to use it, and if you weren't showing up to look around, no one would add things. *YOU* bring all the value to those things)--so feel free to argue from both sides of this invisible, and increasingly non-existent, line.

    Thanks, Mojonauts! Let's keep this show on the road!