Posts Tagged ‘legislation’
I’ll try not to be too long-winded with my thoughts on one of the worst Internet-related bills ever conceived, so I’ll get straight to the point. I do not apologize for my bluntness or disrespect for Congress or what might be perceived by some as the belittling of the entertainment industry.
SOPA, not the soup, but rather the (Stop Online Piracy Act) and it’s mutant Senate sibling, PIPA (Protect IP Act) is the result of not only poorly written legislation but mostly sheer panic on the part of the motion picture and record label industries more commonly known as the MPAA and the RIAA respectively. These are 2 industries who are mad because they ignored the signs and failed to jump on the Information Super-Highway Bandwagon back when it was starting to take off. They are in a state of terror right now because their profits are in the billions instead of tens-of-billions. So they’re stacking large piles of money on the desks of the corrupt, clueless imbeciles on Crapitol Hill. These are old, out-of-touch, stuffy, greedy, dickheads who can barely operate their Blackberry phones, let alone legislate the Internet. You ever gotten a call from Grandpa or Grandma because they don’t know how to send an E-Mail after they’ve typed it? Yeah… that’s Congress and the US Supreme Court.
SOPA and PIPA would mean the end of existence for sites like Wikipedia and YouTube. Sites that have accomplished something amazing and are now engrained in our society and have become common nomenclature for our everyday lives. Wikipedia is the largest, most vast encyclopedia ever created. YouTube is more than just a site to see some obnoxiously giggly girl filming her emo boyfriend getting kicked in the balls by his skinny jeans-wearing buddy. It’s become what I like to call a “cultural archive”. You can find anything there. Obscure songs, movie trailers, old commercials, newscast recordings, etc. These are not copyright violations, this is our way of appreciating and documenting this content. Case in point, the last 20-minutes of our 192nd episode. If SOPA had its way, that would be pulled down because we played “copyrighted” board game commercials from our childhood off of YouTube.
I’ll never understand this “not on my watch” mentality the movie and music industry has these days. The old fogies that run these industries refuse to understand that their business models simply don’t work anymore. Instead of embracing the Internet, they’ve shunned it and are now pissed off that they’ve become the laughingstock of the web. They make music and movies, but they don’t want anyone to enjoy them. They try… oh boy do they try to keep up the old ways. They cut deplorable deals with Netflix who then gets collectively cussed at for trying to alter their DVD service to keep subscription numbers down so that their licensing fees stay low and they can then pass those savings onto their customers. Granted “Qwikster” was a terrible idea. But the company’s heart was in the right place. Ever wonder why Frank Sinatra’s “Love And Marriage” song has been replaced on Netflix and the DVD’s with a Casio cool-sounding cut of unfitting tunery? Because the licensing fees for it were too high!!! REALLY??? It’s a fuckin’ song from the 50′s… you got your god-damned royalties for 50 years. Just let the people enjoy it for Christ sake! And here’s a news flash… when people hear that song, they think of the Fox sitcom. Not the record company who released it, or the guys who wrote it who I can’t even look up because Wikipedia has blacked itself out today for this protest!!!!
Bottom line… change is coming. I know you’re scared MPAA and RIAA, but you know what? There are other ways of increasing your revenue. Here are some examples… stop making shitty content (i.e. movie remakes, or movies based on other things like books, games and comics, CD’s that are auto-tuned on every track because the idiot Barbie doll you got to sing them can’t hold a note, etc.) Here’s another… stop paying actors so much money. If they love the craft so much, they’ll work for union scale. Not to put any one actor on blast, but we know of many that command… or rather DE-mand tens-of-millions per film. You’re not worth that. Your job is not that hard. Crab fishing in the Bering Sea, that’s hard. Serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan, that’s hard. Imagine the millions a studio would save out of the gate if they hired that struggling waiter with an equally impressive 6-pack to play Marvel’s Green Lantern instead of Ryan Reynolds. Imagine how much money it would’ve made if they didn’t rely on complacent union writers and instead hired a writer who knew the Marvel universe and could’ve written a GOOD script that was well received by comic fans who in-turn told their friends to see it too. I get it, everyone needs to make money. And I agree. But you don’t have to make so damned much, especially if you’re a giant corporation. Why can’t you be happy with $3-billion in profit instead of $4-billion? There are other, less annoying, not-so-stingy ways of maintaining your copyright without killing the Internet.
I digress… I read a headline yesterday that SOPA is being shelved… for now. Not canceled or eliminated, just shelved. President Obama says he’d veto it if passed. That’s fine, but what about when he leaves office. What if the president after him supports ending free speech and expression online? What if that president takes the envelope stuffed with money from MPAA and RIAA lobbyists? In that case… I guess we’re boned and you won’t be able to look up this little posting and have a good laugh years from now.
Tell Congress they’re being stupid as usual.
Sign Google’s End Piracy, Not Liberty Petition.