Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act are two bills that are designed to restructure the internet in favor of large media companies who don’t want to change their ways of doing business in the modern internet age.
That’s what all of this really comes down to. I think most of us would agree that content creators should be paid for their work. That’s not even a debate.
What this is really about is the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) wanting to stop people from pirating their movies. Their solution is not to find a better way to sell their movies, hell no! Instead they want the government to pass bills that will allow them to shut down any website without trial for even mentioning where someone could find these illegal downloads. This is a big deal because it means any website with a comment section or blogging system or social network capability would have to monitor everything being said by everyone around the clock for fear of one rogue comment that might get them shut down.
What the motion picture industry needs to do instead is get creative and offer people new ways to easily purchase their content at decent prices and greater portability. But these guys are greedy. They’d do anything they can to keep the old system in place. They want you paying $10+ for a theater ticket and then another $15-30 for disk purchase later on.
Warner Brothers recently increased its delay on new video release for Redbox, Blockbuster and Netflix from 30 days to 56 days. Why? Because they want people to buy their DVD’s and Blu-ray disks. Hey that’s their right, but it only hurts them. More and more people are discovering that they don’t want to spend $15-25 on a disk they’re probably only going to watch once or twice.
If these companies got with the program they would release immediately on the internet at $1-4 for an HD movie rental depending on how new it was. They would allow multiple services to offer these rentals in multiple platforms (TV, desktop, phone) to maximize portability. They would allow multiple ways to pay for it. There would be no delay between disk and download.
The result? Piracy would go down dramatically.
But instead they want to burdon our legal system by giving the government draconian laws to shut down websites on a whim just because someone mentioned something illegal in common speak.
It’s the wrong way to do it. Then of course you have to ask yourself, if you give the government the right to do this, how will they learn to abuse that in the future. What new and creative ways can they find to limit our freedoms based on this law?