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SOPA, PIPA and The End of the Internet

By Peter Mosley

Having read and dug into some of the commentary on these new laws that the USofA are wanting to pass, I am just not sure where this is all going? I know where I would like to see it go …

I look upon the Internet as an open medium. I look upon the Internet as a tool and that medium that can connect you and me. You at one end, me at the other. I have long believed that the more stuff (Throbbing gristle and jumping bunnies!) that gets in the way of that simple concept, the more we see the degradation of the experience. I have said this before, I know I sound like some sort of luddite, but I will not watch TV. I do not have one. I am very aware of the power of video, but I prefer not to watch it online. I can read, just fine, thanks.

I also will not stay on a site that flashes like a bad Vegas Street, blasts up interstitials, nor has so much crap going on I am distracted to the point of … well, I just do not care anymore about what I was going there for?  One reason I have fallen in love with Clearly by Evernote BTW! (If you are like me – you will love this!) I personally want great content from my Net. And, that content is 90% utilities and tools. I do not want the Net to be cheap TV. The more the Net is like TV, the less we need it. I also do not want YouTube to be my personal Jukebox.

My understanding of these proposed laws, is that Hollywood, much like the music industry, more specifically the recording industry, have tried to stop piracy. Well, no matter how you try and explain and rationalize all this, piracy, to me, means stealing. If you acquire some sort of commercial product without paying for it, you have stolen it. I see nothing wrong with stopping that. It may be an obvious question, but since when did someone's commercial property become yours to steal?

I remember being called in to consult to I-Crave TV … seemingly a million years ago. The very first thing I thought, and pretty sure, I asked was – "Do you think you will be online with this for more than a day?"

"Oh sure!" the owner boasted! "It is the Internet!" Well, they were shut down in a matter of hours.

I still believe if someone is interested in watching a movie, a TV show or hearing a song by their favourite artist, there is sound reasoning that they embrace the idea that it is not free. And they watch, listen, or purchase it, through the appropriate channels. Movie houses, your TV/Cable or on a CD or DVD. Or, am I wrong? Do you think everything should be free? Great. I will try that at the gas station on my next fill up.

For music there are tons of options. There are tons of places to get the music I am looking for. If I want serious hi-fi I quality, I'll buy a CD. If I want to check out a new band I go to E-Music and if I want to re-stock my ancient library of vinyl – that are now long gone – almost everything I have looked for – if it was transferred to digital – is on iTunes. It is seamless, it is cheap and it works like crazy. What's the big deal?

Now for the record as a life-long musician, and many years of that spent as a professional, I have no issue buying a CD or a bunch of individual songs. I believe it is the right thing to do. It is also the right thing to do, that folks buy the content I produced.

To me it is the same as acquiring a software program. You should buy it.

The essence of what PIPA and SOPA seem to be trying to do, is stop the rampant piracy of content. This was not a problem way back when, but the technology and the connection speeds we all seem to have changed the game. Yes, the game changed, but why should we? Or, have we always been a species that wants stuff free. No matter what the cost! And think about that for a moment. If everything is free, then coding, web building, advertising, SEO consulting etc etc etc … should also be free!

Now, I am the last one who wants more laws or more rules. I am totally against censorship and detest being over-governed, but I do believe most everything I want, and in some cases need, is worth something. If I cannot afford it, the last thing I am going to do is steal it. Full stop. And continuiing on that logic, if you cannot afford $4.99 to rent a movie, $9.00 to buy an album, then you should be focusing on where you are on Maslov's Scale! But, I almost guarantee, that if you are reading this, you can afford the pitance it costs to purchase some entertainment.

Ask yourself, "Ok here I am at my work/job/office. I get paid by a company that makes Widgets. Why should I expect folks out there to buy my company's service/product if I am not prepared to pay for someone else's Widget? More plainly stated … So, why, the hell, is your widget worth something, and their's isn't?

We do not need a PIPA nor a SOPA, if people simply did the right thing. Don't steal.


  1. Bill Sterling
    Bill Sterling January 23, 2012

    Your last line of Sopa, PIPA and the End of the Internet says it all. Thanks for the integrity.

  2. Gordon Gower
    Gordon Gower January 28, 2012

    Well put Mr. Mosely. I have heard the following arguments:
    1) Posting songs, books, movies etc., works more as advertisement. In the end folks will likely buy your stuff if they get to sample it for free initially.
    REPLY: Posting your stuff to the internet HAS indeed proven to work, BUT this is the choice of the originating “author”; if they have not chosen to promote their stuff in that manner, then you are stealing.
    2) Internet theft has no real impact on the economy; the folks who steal stuff have likely already exhausted their budget on stuff, and would not likely buy it anyway.
    REPLY: If you run out of money, you get NO more stuff. My mother and father taught me this when I was 5.
    3) Copyright laws are ludicrous, they do not fit with the current technology and the distribution options these technologies provide. We need to establish a whole new “economy” that arranges for the compensation of creative people that does not rely on purchasing their product!
    REPLY: You keep right on working on that comrade. There is a mechanism for effecting these changes; its called politics, not… THEFT.

  3. mose
    mose January 28, 2012

    Many thanks Gord!

  4. Bailey Howell
    Bailey Howell February 7, 2012

    Regardless of whether piracy is right or wrong, it is not theft. It does not deprive the owner of their propery. Piracy is the illegal copying of something that does not belong to you. That is not theft.
    My beef with the whole ‘online piracy’ to do, is that businesses are suing for purported damages that in no way reflect the actual loss that they have suffered. If ‘pirates’ were held accountable for the actual damages they inflicted, then I would have less issue with IP laws meant to protect creaters.
    If you want an actual insightful view of piracy, check out the owner of Valve. They view piracy as a customer service issue, not a theft issue. And their response to piracy is earning them money instead of causing frivilous and bullying lawsuits.

  5. Anthony Ouwendyk
    Anthony Ouwendyk February 15, 2012

    Anyone who can’t understand the difference between public property and private property shouldn’t be let out of the public institution they were housed in prior to posting their information on a public social platform. Nobody asked anyone to make their private information or their personal stuff public and then expect everyone to protect and share their privacy at the same time.
    When you get published phone numbers, expect phone calls from anyone with a phone book, they aren’t copyright publications are they?
    Public-ation=public property! Read it. Share it. Rewrite it. Words, music, videos, posts, comments and any other ‘social platform publication’ makes your ‘personal posting of anything’ ‘Public Property’ by the very act of Publishing it. All that is required to take ownership of it is to change one letter or note and it has a new author. Just ask God about His Book if you don’t believe my post!

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