Congrats to everyone that participated in the SOPA/PIPA Jan 18th blackout, even if all you did was sit on Twitter and complain(some strong language was used), you did something to bring the topic into the foreground.
Yesterday’s on-line unity was a clear message to the political parties backing these bills. Last I checked the opposition to PIPA was only 6 senators away from the required 41 “no” votes needed to keep PIPA stuck in the Senate for good. While I haven’t seen a public list of senator opposition to SOPA, it too needs 41 “no” votes to end the future of the bill.
While this sounds great, it really just means that the entertainment industry, and fans of public censorship, now have to try even harder to keep their efforts out of the public eye. Make no mistake, there are people, wealthy and misguided, that will keep trying to find a way to sneak this sort of law through. Don’t think that’s a fair/optimistic assessment of the situation, well here’s the flip side (Very strong language/opinion warning) from Mr.Maddox.
Just last night I was trying to get some programming done while watching a bunch of movies I’ve been backlogged on. One of the movies in the stack was ‘Kick-Ass‘ and I won’t spoil a decent film for you with too much info, but there’s a scene where they are streaming a web broadcast live on the news. As the live stream becomes ‘too violent’ for television the audience quickly switches to the web to watch the rest of the live stream on-line.
While most folks watching the film were probably totally distracted by the context of the scene, I was immediately thinking about all the conservative types watching this unfold and thinking to themselves:
‘This should never be possible, we should have the ability to censor a live stream that is so disturbing! If it can’t be shown on TV it shouldn’t be viewable on the Internet! Just think of all the things the internet could broadcast un-censored! We need something like this SOPA/PIPA thing we can abuse!’
I’m not sure if the big players in Hollywood actually intended that sort of reaction to the scene, I’m not saying the film is a brain-wash attempt by the industry, but the thought did cross my very ‘open’ mind, so it stands to reason I wouldn’t be the only one.
In fact if you haven’t looked at ACTA, you might want to check it out. This is a more international version of PIPA/SOPA with the same issues surrounding loose definitions and loopholes that could be exploited while doing little to actually stop piracy. ACTA has been bouncing around since 2006 with a bunch of countries already signed on to the current version.
The closure date for signing onto ACTA isn’t until 2013 but it looks like there may be some difficulties getting all signing countries to agree on a final version (yay for diversity!). A notably large issue of ACTA, especially in the eyes of the EFF, is that it has been drafted in secret, hidden from public eyes by participating governments around the world. So if you haven’t poked your nose into it, you really should.
Speaking of closure, I think Chia Bart’s pretty much grown all that he will and I’m cheating now to try and get the top of his head to sprout.
Leaf me alone! The kid is not my sun!