O lawmakers, heed not the mob’s wrath

by Walter Olson on February 11, 2012

They understand not the wisdom of SOPA [Julian Sanchez, Cato at Liberty]

{ 10 comments }

1 Doug 02.11.12 at 11:00 am

“Grima Wormtongue”, loved that allusion.

2 Steve 02.12.12 at 8:30 am

Also, when polled, 100% of the “millions” of anti-SOPAists also decided that, given the choice, they’d much prefer free beer to not free beer, and that the traditional model of making selling of beer was made obsolete by the invention of firearms and other implements of armed robbery. More specifically, they felt that traditionally sold beer, controlled by a few handfuls of large companies and hundreds of small microbreweries, was effectively monopoly pricing, and they much preferred the situation where the “market price” was effectively the “free beer” price (as determined by the “Max Dotcoms” of the beer market). When asked about the beer manufacturers’ response of arming clerks with shotguns, the free beer afficionados claimed that this was an affront to beer neutrality, and, after all, the clerks might go on a rampage or one of those shotguns could accidentally kills a poor orphan or itty bitty bunny wabbit.

SOPA/PIPA were far from perfect and would need some technical honing, but the contortions that the “anti” crowd has gone to to portray it as the antichrist is nothing short of reprehensible. Let’s be honest here – the anti crowd couldn’t really give two sheds about “net neutrality.” We all know that the net as we know it would find ways to survive through even the worst slippery slope exaggeration version of this bill that we have heard. What they are really against is their right to piracy.

Please, go on. Tell me your stories about how you *really* use torrents for your Linux distros, got a Megaupload account to “share the songs you record in your garage with your friends overseas” and other such lies, as if the real “balance” of copyright on the web wasn’t so skewed in favor of the pirates such that you have whole generations of well-incomed, laptop and iphone owning people under 25 from spain and italy east to where the water ends off china who have never paid a dime for any of the almost exclusively american sourced intellectual property that they have used as if it were tap water. until the sort of web savvy hipsters that come up with these sort of anti-sopa petitions acknowledge that this too is a massive inequity (that amounts to more or less regressive pricing to the US lower-middle classes, who are about the last who actually pay for much of anything in the lower age brackets), then I’m just going to call them out for being the selfish hypocrites they are.

flame away.

3 Bumper 02.12.12 at 10:55 am

Steve,
1. You are living in a dream world if you think that passing SOPA would be the anything but the beginning of the take over of the Internet by the “545″ in DC. Health care in America has gone from giving corporations a “tax break” for group insurance to a total takeover with ObamaCare.
2. Companies like Apple have already shown there are viable alternatives for compensating artists other than a takeover of the Internet.
3. Thou doth protest too much. Always makes me suspicious.

4 Doug 02.12.12 at 1:10 pm

@steve, its not about “free beer”, despite what you write.

5 Hugo S. Cunningham 02.12.12 at 3:44 pm

@Steve–
By blocking the unilateral giveaway (and potential technical disaster) of SOPA, the public have gained the chance to negotiate a fair compromise to preserve incentives for creators while rolling back unconstitutional, de-facto-perpetual copyright extensions. Today’s copyright term of life PLUS seventy years bears no relation to the Constitution’s term “limited” to the “promotion of science and the useful arts.”
A possible compromise on copyright terms:
1-14 years: strongest, SOPA-like protection (but without the bugs). This is when creators make most of their profits.
15-28 years: strong protection
29-56 years: copying remains forbidden, but some other prohibitions, eg on derivative works, are relaxed
57+ years: public domain.

6 Jerryskids 02.13.12 at 1:56 pm

@Bumper re: @Steve – Amen, brother. SOPA/PIPA is not an imperfect solution to a problem that needs some tweaking, it is using a hand grenade to cure your hangnail problem. The government solution for a problem is often a cure worse than the disease.

Or as a wise man once said, “Don’t just do something, stand there!” is generally a good prescription for good government.

7 John Burgess 02.13.12 at 4:17 pm

@Steve: Good, but I think things should be entering the public domain for all purposes after 29 years and lose protection against derivative works after 15.

8 DensityDuck 02.14.12 at 8:26 pm

I’m sorry, I can’t post anything about SOPA, because the Internet shut down back in the 1990s when the DMCA was passed.

Oh wait that didn’t happen.

9 doug 02.15.12 at 7:44 am
10 Nezuji 02.15.12 at 9:02 pm

Also, when polled, 100% of the “millions” of pro-SOPAists also decided that, given the choice, they’d much prefer no competition to fair competition, and that the traditional (rapidly becoming outdated) model of making and selling of beer should be made inviolate by the passing of lobby-boosted laws and other implements of unarmed robbery. More specifically, they felt that traditionally sold beer, controlled by a few large companies, should have the right to stamp out hundreds of small microbreweries, wineries and distilleries, by effectively claiming to own the copyright on the entire concept of alchoholic beverages (an untenable position in the long term, but winnable in the short term by those with the deepest pockets), and they much preferred the situation where the “open” beer market was effectively their “monopoly” beer market. When asked about the beer manufacturers’ response of arming clerks with shotguns to shoot at anyone caught commenting on beer or taking a picture of a beer can, the independent beer afficionados claimed that this was an affront to beer neutrality, and, after all, the clerks might go on a rampage, or one of those shotguns could accidentally kill someone who happened to be standing between a second person legitimately drinking a beer and a third holding a camera (pointed at an itty bitty bunny wabbit).

Meanwhile, as armed clerks start training to patrol the aisles looking for notepad- and camera-wielding thieves, beer continues to be stolen by hijacking trucks en route from the brewery to the store, just as it always has been.

Comments on this entry are closed.