Ian Lurie // Jan 18 2012
Watching the argument over online piracy unfold in the US is like watching chimpanzees drive a car. They fight over direction but they don’t give a crap if they take the rest of us off a goddamned cliff with them.
Here’s my problem with both sides in this Greek tragedy:
If it passes, SOPA will be a total failure:
Which brings me to the part where I piss everyone off.
There, I said it.
Everyone seems to think they have a right to free music, free movies, free books, whatever. Well, you don’t.
Someone worked to create that stuff. They deserve to be paid. I used to think this was a price thing: That if record companies and movie studios and publishers sold their content more cheaply, everyone would adjust. But I was wrong. I know that now because people bitch when companies like Spotify restrict their free streaming service in an attempt to get people to pay for the better premium subscription.
The premium subscription costs $9/month. If you listen to 20 songs in a month, you paid $.45 a song. That’s a fraction of the cost of a CD. You’re going to steal music to avoid paying $.45 for a song?
Stealing is stealing. If you take content from someone (including a blogger like me) without permission, you’re not stickin’ it to the man. You’re not fighting repression. You’re not making a political statement. You’re a thief.
If you’re a geek like me, I know exactly what you’re going to say:
“I want the artists to get paid. It’s the big greedy music/movie/media companies I don’t like.”
Funny, because SOPA supporters will say:
“I want individuals to get their content. It’s the big greedy pirates I don’t like.”
Go oppose SOPA. It’s a terrible piece of legislation. If Thomas Jefferson saw it, he’d slap the authors in the face and send them back to law school.
Then, make a real statement. Support companies like Spotify, and Hulu (yes, I know who owns Hulu), and indie ebook sellers. Those guys are the only ones who are really working to fix this. Make them super-successful and watch what happens.
Ian Lurie is founder and CEO of Portent Inc., an internet marketing agency that has provided internet marketing, including PPC, SEO, social and analytics services, since 1995. Read More