Along with Wikipedia, thousands (yes, thousands) of other social sites, like Reddit, Vimeo, Tumblr, and WordPress, went dark to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
In the shortest way possible, SOPA is attempting to battle all the copyright infringement that goes on in the Interwebs.
Now, from what we’ve hear, the ‘net is a pretty big place. So, if passed, something like this could happen:
You upload the trailer for the newest Twilight movie to your BFF’s Facebook wall. But, you don’t actually own that video, and it gets flagged for copyright infringement. Before you get a chance to take the video down, the U.S. watchdog will block the site you loaded it to (Facebook) until they investigate. This is quickly followed by extreme outrage from the millions of people who use Facebook every second.
Places like Wikipedia and Reddit, where users upload content (much of which is not original) have very few copyright skimmers – you can upload pretty much anything you want, even if you didn’t create it or you don’t own the rights to it. Most people are cool with free sharing, but a lot of people are going out of business, too.
I’m sure most of us have visited Megaupload – they were shut down for piracy today.
It takes hundreds of people to make a movie, for instance, from start to finish. I mean, have you ever sat through the entire ending credits? No way, they’re too long!
But all those people need to be paid, and then the studio needs to make money so people who work at the studio can be paid.
And when we (I’ve done it, you’ve done it; let’s stop) watch pirated movies, we’re moving those people who make those movies one step closer to being out of a job.
So maybe cracking down on piracy is a good thing.
Before you get up in arms – I don’t think SOPA is a good thing.
The culture we’ve got today is based on sharing, and while it’s not usually a face-to-face type of connection that we make, it’s still a connection. When we at Raz Mataz share a video link with you, we’re not trying to make money from it, we’re trying to get people to watch the video, because it’s probably something we really believe in.
In the end, SOPA needs to go, but so do all the pirates who are ruining the share space for the rest of us.
But now something cool, from the internet.
(Raz Mataz does not own the rights to this video).
(Personally, I think some of the ideas in the video are rather radical [relating SOPA to fascism?], but it’s a really cool remix, nonetheless)