Yep, we know: you’re well aware that it’s Internet Blackout Day, a collective effort by some of the most influential online voices – Wikipedia, Reddit and Google among them – to raise awareness of the dangers of the Stop Online Piracy Bill. Here at BAMM, we’re not going to regurgitate the exact reasons why SOPA is a damaging prospect – there are plenty of resources that will do that for you.
BAMM has long been a proponent of finding a new and innovative model for the music industry in a digital age. No-one seriously ‘supports’ the idea of piracy and of musicians (among other artists) losing money and control of their work. But SOPA can only be described as both a) a huge step backwards for the industry, and b) the equivalent of trying to swat a housefly by nuking an entire city block. Overblown, ill-conceived and ludicrous.
Here’s what Senator John Cornyn had to say, when asked to explain why he withdrew his support for a bill which is – to all intents and purposes – being rushed through Congress.
“It’s better to get this done right rather than fast and wrong. Stealing content is theft, plain and simple, but concerns about unintended damage to the internet and innovation in the tech sector require a more thoughtful balance, which will take more time.”
As for The White House? They state:
“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”
It’s clear, then – this is an issue that transcends the normal boundaries of party politics. This is something more universal than that. Or – as Google put it – we should End Piracy, Not Liberty. Sign up and support that idea.