It's not often that I get political on this blog, I do try to keep it to music, however do the immense scale of this topic and the fact that it has to do with illegal downloading and the internet in general it means that what better place to oppose it than on the internet, because who knows we may not be able to soon. For those who don't know however all of you should, the SOPA and PIPA acts are two pieces of American legislation that are designed to stop piracy/illegal downloading and a whole host of other things that relate to regulation on the internet. However what they actually are a step towards internet control, they could in theory result in all user-generated content being deleted from the internet and unless you pay for copyright to material you want to use then it will be deleted, now many of you will know that YouTube have done this for a while with Universal Music being the biggest killjoys, however this has not stopped people as they have posted the same videos on other sites that are not as heavily funded and reliant on advertising revenue as YouTube. While I don't torrent, or illegally download (as most of you know) I don't really have a problem with it as yes it does hurt the smaller bands and people such as studio engineers and such but really who gives a shit if Mariah Carey can't afford another house. People have always found ways of sharing content that in most cases they have purchased with friends (how many people have made a mix tape/cd?). People want to discover things about bands or films or whatever and they have to use Wikipedia, imdb or other user-generated websites because usually the official information is poor at best.
You may think this is an American only problem but if you consider that most of these companies are American based if they have to close because of the law or shutdown their operation that is shutdown on everyone's internet meaning that people in Japan can't see another Nyan Cat or men in offices won't able to settle the debate over Samuel L Jackson's first film. It will affect all of us not just the American's, also as they tend to be the frontrunners in this stuff it won't be long before our pussy-whipped yellow government follow suit, (and you can bet that they won't hold a referendum.) All in all this would lead to the last bastion of totally free speech is all but eradicated, yes there is some horrible shit on the net but there is also things of true beauty (much like in life) and it is all dependant on what you want to find rather than what you will find.
There are only a few possible outcomes to this whole mess:
1. The bill fails (for now). This is the best outcome for all concerned
2. The bill passes. The companies affected cease to exist the internet becomes a lot more 'streamlined', other countries follow suit. We get one step closer to Orwell's nightmare.
3. The bill passes. The companies move they're business to Europe or Asia and we experience the Net-Bubble that the USA did because of our lack of regulation. This intern would lead to us not getting the regulation because of the money that can be made. Eventually the law is repealed in the USA as they are lagging behind the rest of the world because of an outmoded view. (This last one is farfetched I realise but it's the best of a bad situation)
All in all this would be a shambles from a country that claims and I quote:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So go redress your grievances make your voice heard:
Cheers and Rock on!
Normal service will be resumed