Jan 20, 2012

Not dead yet

Yesterday's Register article, "SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?" is a sobering - and in my opinion accurate - summary on the need for intelligent Internet piracy discussion between the Tech industry and our government:
Former Mozilla CEO John Lilly captured this best, arguing, "What’s extremely discouraging to me right now is that I don’t really see how we [the tech world and the US Congress] can have a nuanced, technically-informed, respectful discussion/debate/conversation/working relationship."

Instead all we get is the media industries engaging in back room lobbying to get bad bills passed while the tech world shotguns abuse until Congress capitulates. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship.
Hear, hear! It's a must read article, along with this mentioned (and quoted) article by Andrew Orlowski, "White House shelves SOPA...Now what?".  To expand the quote:

While the legislation is now moribund, the underlying concerns behind SOPA haven't gone away. No amount of bloviating is going to resolve this. The main provision of SOPA (and PIPA) is website-blocking, which has no friends here at El Reg. But SOPA will return next year, and the year after, until the issues have been tackled head on. The STOP SOPA stickers will return. It's all avoidable and getting quite tedious.
It's true. And it's not just the content industry or legislators that are covering their ears. Orlowski points out how tech is also digging in by avoiding progressive and mutual thinking.

"...if ISPs abided by a clear and open voluntary code to respect creators' rights, which required booting out the few serial offenders; if ad networks refused to support parasitic foreign companies; and if search engines shared revenue with media companies to whence they drove traffic, we wouldn't need new laws...Alas ISPs, service providers and search engines today see only risk in being socially responsible, not an opportunity.
The problem isn't going away and we all have to face it:
As Friday's exasperated joint White House statement points out, the copyright worries are justified, and entitled to some kind of enforcement - they won't go away. A property owner must be able to enforce their property rights, with legal backup, and the effective sort, or the rights become meaningless.
 BTW the White House is calling for co-ordinated, voluntary action on everyone's part to combat online piracy. Read the full statement here.

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