In a culture driven by piracy, tweets, and Facebook posts, there are very few conversations about direction, change, or innovation. In their absence, people spend countless hours socializing online. We are living in the digital age. It began as an idea to make information more accessible – it has transformed into a billion dollar dynasty, which allows sole proprietors to gain success and notoriety.
What began as simple dialogue and warning threats towards entertainment piracy, mainly movies and music, has now become the topic of the webisphere. And this isn’t Hollywood talking this is congress. A bill recently proposed titled SOPA/PIPA gives the government entitlement to shutdown any infringing US domain names, also having the capability to sue blogs, forums, and growing social networks. The proposed bill also gives the government the obligation to cut off funds to any threatening infringing websites by blocking and exterminating any US advertisements on the website. This mean popular web services like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook were threatened. If the bill were passed they would have to censor their users or get shut down since they were liable for every users post.
Wednesday January 18th, 2012 websites went on self-imposed blackouts, creating the biggest digital protest in history. They were protesting a legislation that could violate the First Amendment of the Constitution, freedom of speech. Juggernaut search engines like Google put black bans across their name in protest of SOPA.
The US government was pursuing a head-on challenge against every music-loving, movie watching American who downloaded media. A very bold, and noble stand indeed, but for what? Money? Or control and power? Sounds like new world order type domination.
Stripping all moral and patriotic arguments, congress set the agenda that this is all about monetary advancement. The entertainment world has never seen such a decline in sales. The once unyielding business, where people were able to capitalize off their talents, is now at a stand still. They are in need of something big to happen – and what does America do when their most valuable, prolific business is in dismay – they scatter at any idea capable to fix the issue as fast as possible; hence, SOPA/PIPA.
No, I haven’t paid for a cd in the last ten years, unless it was for an artist who needed the 10 cents from my purchased cd as badly as I did. No, I don’t go to the movies on Thursday midnight showings anymore, unless it’s for a date. The way we go about viewing and paying for material has changed. While the world continues to advance, the media industry sales strategies remain stagnant. The marketing plans are sitting in a 30-year old Jacuzzi, smoking old Cubans. Where’s the finesse?
It seems as though the government overthrows these arguments, dismissing the fact that as the digital generation continues to make strides. Younger people have become more aware of how to monetize off their products than of the generations that preceded them. Only focusing on the monetary loss of free music and movies, the government fails to recognize the intellectual and historical gain.
The government fears the Internet because they cannot control it. The people took a stance against the legislation and with a little force got some of SOPA/PIPA biggest political sponsors to resign their support. The US government blinked first in a high-tech game of digital chicken.
Here are some tweets from people who took a stance:
Contributor: John Hurtado (@Mr_Hurtado)