Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What SOPA and PIPA are meant to do

I just saw a headline that has put SOPA and PIPA into perspective: BTJunkie voluntarily closes file-sharing website (more from ZDNet, Loopy Gadgets, and the Guardian).

The goal of SOPA/PIPA is not to stop piracy.

It is nothing less than to put an end to user-generated content on the Web.

That's the real goal of MPAA and RIAA in all their censorship moves and DRM strategies -- to ensure they have a monopoly on distribution of entertainment media worldwide.

They want to eliminate every form of competition. They want to ensure that all independent entertainers are crushed, so that everyone who wants any sort of entertainment will have to come to them, cash in hand. They want to ensure that every musician will have to come to them, cap in hand, to sign away all of their rights and money, in order to make the move from street corner busker/ garage band/ small local club band to the big time. They want to ensure that nobody ever successfully distributes a film without the studios getting their piece of the action.

And this plays into the hands of a censorious government. Never forget that big government and big business are in bed together and feed each other. Big business wants an unfair advantage. Big government wants to control personal expression. An oppressive government cannot afford free expression; it's far too likely to express, in a way that people can easily see and share, that the government is oppressive and corrupt.

BTJunkie's self-takedown is not ONLY stifling piracy, is not ONLY stifling Linux ISO distribution (most Linux ISOs are distributed over bittorrent to save costs) ... I have no doubt that it is also stifling the efforts of many independent artists, without labels or studio contracts, to get some market share and mind share.

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