The US Congress is going to discuss new bill called “SOPA”. A law proposal that, basically, would permit to entertainment corporations to generate an incredible censorship power over the Internet industry, so to protect their productions against piracy. The proposal is very big and in some parts quite complicated and for this reason attached the following video.
This proposal has been created with the will to help an industry by having a gain from the resources and time invested to create media content, but has been formulated by lobbyists and people that (in my opinion) doesn’t know what’s internet, and how it works.
The entertainment business usually consider Internet as a treat, mostly because they see only the “piracy part”, that prevent them on having the expected return on investments they got used during the 80s. This economical aspect make them blind, even when its the time to consider the possibilities that Internet created with its evolution (based on what people want), for example understanding that file sharing can be used as a new distribution channel. Has to be understood that that Internet brought, in a really short time, radical changes in every single industry, triggering a Darwinian evolution process, where business that didn’t evolve quickly are dying, but corporations want to keep their old business model in a world where traditional rules are not valid anymore.
If this bill would pass, corporations would have the power to close or obscure (depending on the cases) any websites just because its present a link or copyrighted material in their services. For example they would be able to create big problems to Facebook if an user post a “forbidden link”, or Youtube if an user uploads a homemade video of a child dancing a pop hit. They made this proposal because they are unable to target every single person, so they are trying to target (and hit) every web services, that are user’s connecting hubs.
The treats for business would be massive, because entrepreneurs or innovators would start having fear on creating a service (or technology) that people could use to connect and share what represent them, like copyrighted material as movie clips. Like a domino effect, for this reason, they would start considering moving abroad, in countries where minor legal treats are present, so to avoid the possibility to see their venture closed down by a link. On the human side, every person would be limited, because their sharing and communication possibilities would be reduced, making them having difficulties in finding information and updating themselves.
After this short analysis, you can understand that this is a global problem. Some web services, like Wikipedia and Youtube are used globally even if they are “American Property”, effecting the whole system and in a long term they would limit innovation. Then local politicians (that don’t know what’s Internet), looking at the SOPA success and pursuing self promotion, could promote similar laws in their own countries, starting in this way a total censorship.
Business need to evolve themselves, and understand how their old business model can embrace (and use) new technologies, and stop having fear of an inevitable evolution, that’s the reason why some people fight to maintain the status quo.