List of Pols against SOPA Blows My Mind
In keeping with the goal to educate readers about the dangers of SOPA and PIPA, here is a piece by Jeremy Kolassa, originally posted on November 21, 2011.
I’ve been following the progress of the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” or SOPA, also known as the “Internet Blacklist Bill,” for some time now, but haven’t posted about it because I feel that other websites cover it far better. Recently, though, I’ve seen some news I feel I have to share to United Liberty readers, because it comes straight from the “Holy Crap I Never Saw THAT Coming!” department.
For a good summary of why SOPA is a bad law, you should read the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s explanation. You can also grab the actual text of the law here. In effect, the bill would criminalize “casual piracy”—linking a music video on Facebook would land you some stiff penalties, as well as penalties for Facebook. Goodbye Youtube, as well. For that reason, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Google, and a host of other Internet giants have come out against the bill, in addition to groups like EFF, DemandProgress, CreativeCommons, and Mozilla.
But guess who else is against SOPA? Well, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has put a hold on the Senate’s version of the bill (PROTECT IP, even though it does no such thing), and has been joined in opposing it by Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).That alone is a good thing, but then we get the news that…Michele BACHMANN (R-MN) is against this? And, and...Darrell ISSA (R-CA)? And, and, and…no. No, that cannot be possible. She couldn’t possibly be against a bill that would dramatically increase the power of the federal government. But, holy crap, she is…
My mind is officially blown. It’s only 10am where I am, and already I’m just going to take the day off, not read the news, just do some paperwork and cleaning and that’s it. My mind cannot handle the fact that Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann, and Nancy Pelosi all agree on something—and moreover, that they all agree on the side of liberty and individual freedom.
One small disclaimer: I’m actually not a fan of intellectual piracy; however, at the same time, I recognize that bills like SOPA are cures that are worse than the disease, and it would not fix the problem. I also recognize there are limits to intellectual property, unlike the MPAA and RIAA, and that you can’t run roughshod over others trying to protect it. Thus, my opposition to SOPA—and besides, when someone links a music video to their Facebook account, they’re actually drumming up business for your musicians. Isn’t that what you want?