SOPA and PIPA untangled

If you use the Internet, you likely have heard or read rumblings about legislation currently in Congress about Internet piracy. SOPA and PIPA were the inspiration for a blackout of several major web sites this week over concerns that the legislation would ‘break’ the Internet through their requirements, and change the nature of what and how we share online.

If you’re interested in the larger dynamics at work, particularly related to creative content in an online world, take a look at Clay Shirky’s recent talk at the TED offices. Useful. Thoughtful. Kinda scary, too.


  1. Fred E. Vanosdall says

    This presentation is for a very specialized audience. In order to comprehend the government’s
    intervention in the organizations represented by the presenter; it should be written so it can be slowed down and thought through.

  2. says

    The truth is, the premise of the entertainment monopolies was very simple. They want to completely control the flow. Kind of makes sense for them. Not for us. The point is, distribution via the Internet is a brand new era. Let’s get to it. It will not have these billionaires who run a declining number of industries that control huge swaths of information demanding first, the power to impoverish, the power to enforce a statute as though it was their private domain… which they kind of make it…

    Our copyrights need to be reexamined. They have been growing to longer and longer periods, for less and less durable reasons. If the author is alive, in some way he should be paid even after the initial publishing. A database of copyrights should be kept by legislation and authors should be a small royalty paid by e-money for each time someone reads it.

    The thing is, these barons of media are worse than clueless. This industry will reshape, and I want it reshaped by the greatest distribution system yet devised: the Internet.

    Despite their monopoly in state-of-the-art broadcast equipment which made the TV industry a “license to print money” for the entire postwar period now, there’s no guarantee of it continuing. On the contrary, these barons, in 20 years, will have adapted their business models to the Internet, or they will be dead.