Okay, so I totally stole that joke from the internetz. It’s still funny.
But if the legislation that is being proposed right now actually becomes law, I could be declared a dirty internet pirate whore for posting this.
Not my words–but the images. But maybe even the words. Who knows?
That’s the problem with the legislation–the language is very wibbly wobbly and slickery. Check it out for yourself here…SOPA and PIPA. Here is a pretty good translation and explanation of the bills from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Also, just do a search on SOPA and PIPA–you’ll find all kinds of sites from authors and content creators talking about how bad this legislation is.
I mean, I get that piracy is bad. While part of me would be flattered that someone would even want to steal my stuff, it is wrong and it would tick me off. I get that.
But I also remember when the RIAA and MPAA went all gestapo against peer-to-peer downloads back at the turn of the century (in ought-two or ought-three) and I wondered then as I wonder now–are we cracking down on ordinary people and curtailing all of our freedoms simply to allow big artists to add another deck to their yacht?
Don’t misunderstand me–piracy is theft. I do not and cannot condone it. I don’t care that you feel like you’re “sticking it to the man” by stealing Bill Gate’s software or that you’re only skimming off the top of Spielberg’s big pile of money when you bit-torrent that movie. You’re still stealing.
But legislation like SOPA and PIPA is a hammer in search of a nail. It punishes the common internet citizen and jeopardizes the free internet that has revolutionized our society in uncounted ways. It eliminates due process, jeopardizes expression, and only benefits media lobbyists. Further, in targeting good-faith internet content providers, it’s not really going to address the problem. Piracy is already illegal. This isn’t going to change that nor is it going to curtail the illegal activity. Ironically, it’ll just stifle legitimate activity.
So, many major side-trips on the Information Superhighway (Yes, I remember that term. I’m old.) are blacking out today in protest. Check out Google, Wikipedia, and The Oatmeal (by far my favorite) for examples.
Why aren’t I blacking out? Because that would inconvenience all 5 of my average daily visitors to no avail. Wikipedia blacking out draws attention to the issue. My blacking out only inspires a shrug and a click to move on.
So, what’s my point?
One, click the links above and learn more about this important issue. If you feel as strongly about as I do, then you’ll do what I did–contact your Congressional representatives and make your voice heard.
Two, if you’re doing research today and need good information, don’t go to Wikipedia. For one reason, it’s blacked out. For another reason, and I must put on my pinched glasses and stern-librarian-in-a-bun-wig for this (suck on that mental image!): FOR THE SAKE OF SWEET BABY GHERKINS, WIKIPEDIA SHOULD NEVER BE USED AS A SOURCE FOR RESEARCH!. Yes, use it to get links to elsewhere but Wikipedia (as much as I love it) should never ever be a primary source of information. Ever. Go to a library. Do big boy/girl research. You’ll be glad you did.