Why SOPA might be the best thing that’s ever happened to the internet

Okay, so we’re all agreed that SOPA is a bad thing, right? Good. Now, let’s look at the whole thing again. Perhaps SOPA, as nasty and questionably supported as it is, could actually change the internet for the better. Not convinced? Here’s the explanation.

SOPA is about piracy, and piracy is a huge part of the internet. Let’s be honest here: we all know that copyright is infringed on the internet on a very regular basis. Some companies actively encourage this with their viral videos. The promotion of abuse of copyright is one of the defining features of modern corporate online activity. Yes, the same companies that want their copyright protected are often, themselves, not bothered about copyright except when they want to use it defensively.

So if SOPA is enacted to its fullest extent, here’s what will happen: the internet will cease to be a recycling mill for copyrighted material, and we will start to see the development of an entirely new, independent ecosystem. SOPA will help us to sweep out the last remnants of ‘old’ media from an internet that should be about the creation of new content and new ideas. Seriously, the internet should be about more than the sharing of old episodes of Friends on YouTube.

I want to be clear: the manner in which SOPA has been pushed through the US political system is abysmal. But again, we should welcome the fact that the moral, ethical and intellectual poverty of that system has been exposed so freely. It will take time for most people to recognise this stupidity, but there is not retreating: US politicians have shown their true colours. They can’t deny what they have done.

So SOPA is a case of short-term pain leading, hopefully, to long-term gain. Let’s stop fighting for the rights of people to share old episodes of sh*t sitcoms, and start welcoming an age in which major entertainment companies will punish their customers and, eventually, realise they have f*cked up. And let’s hope that by the time they realise their mistake, it will be too late and they will wither and die. Stop complaining and start creating! Let the cold, dead hands of the major entertainment corporations cling to their copyright as they fade from relevance.

About Michael R. Gideon

Writer, teacher, dog walker, guitarist, husband, father, reader, journalist etc. I mainly write at 100gf | Politics and Computers, but occasionally at other sites such as TV Vomit and Indie Bookspot. My Google Plus profile.


5 thoughts on “Why SOPA might be the best thing that’s ever happened to the internet

  1. If it really was just about control of copyrighted material, I might agree with you, but really it’s about control, period. Big media wants to kill its competition, that includes creative works. I think they will nitpick and lie in order to stop user-initiated content from ever dominating the internet again. They will kill off lolcats, meme humor, satire, anything that even references known culture.

    What I believe SOPA will lead to if passed, is a very top-down medium like TV or radio where content is chosen for us and it will be shit, but we won’t have any other choice. And let’s face it, shit sells, especially when you convince enough people that dogshit is golden. Look at all the horrible reality shows on TV and all the pictures of Kim Kardashian on the magazines in the check-out aisle and imagine an eternity of that crap being forced down our throats.

    I can’t bear the thought of it.

    Posted by musicmissionary | December 24, 2011, 4:15 am
  2. I’m sorry but that is just ignorant. “New” does not necessarily mean better! When you take something old and withered, and you remix it, you rearrange it, you find new ideas in old concepts, you are creating something better. There are new sitcoms out there that are just so horrible they are not worth watching, while good tv shows like Friends, and its concept, have been used in different ways to make new shows. How I Met Your Mother, for example, is a great show, but its not exactly a new concept or idea. When we better and renew old ideas we indirectly create new ideas which in the future, are bettered and even newer and better ideas come to life.

    SOPA is just a way for the government to silence us. Another way for them to control what we do, what we see. Lets start with the fact that we often post copy-righted material on Facebook unknowingly, or YouTube, those sites will be taken down. But the main concept is being missed, the reason we post those images, or songs. When we post material on social websites, such as Facebook or Twitter, we do it to comunicate ideas, to teach, to learn, to share. What is so wrong with that? Why is taking something like the image from a cartoon still, adding some caption and putting it on your Facebook Wall wrong? How am I supposed to see something new from a different part of the world, something I have never seen before because it’s way too far away, and see it in my small island? If no one can share it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. . . what’s the point? Sites like MemeBase will also be taken down. What would be the point of the internet? If only you can share your own material? If only Big Companies can post their material… who will see it?

    Whoever believes SOPA is anything but horrible for humanity is ignorant and extremely dumb. I don’t know who you are, but I would start to read up more on SOPA, and think of all the consequences. The internet is FREE and available to anyone who can access it! WHY do the companies and big interests have to get their grubby nasty hands on it?

    Posted by MelopRocker | December 25, 2011, 6:25 pm
  3. You moron. Sopa has eff all to do with piracy. It is all about stifling comparison. Just look at how the DMCA has been used. Nuff said.

    Posted by Red John | December 26, 2011, 8:44 pm
  4. here is a reason it should not pass.. some of us use the internet to post pics and comments to family that is states away. and while it would be nice to go fly and see that family.. how many people can afford to fly weekly just to see children? or parents.. if you say well you can always mail pics.. stop and think about how pics get bent in the mail? plus its used to find long lost friends. I for one found 2 people i went to school with because of places like photobucket. and my life is better for finding those friends. if it wasn’t for places like facebook.. i would never have found a friend of mine that is a firefighter.. causing me to care so much about them that i became a nurse who saves lives every day! and sometimes i do like to look at copyrighted pics to remind me that life matters.. other wise, who knows i might get so use to the dark and dismal of humanity in its self i will be like just let them all die.. there is no point to family and life when you can not connect with them all the time…. further more i use the net for looking up info on pt’s illnesses, or connecting with people who can help those pts… some times that means finding the number to some docs office half way cross the usa.. and you know what there sites are copy righted!

    Posted by beth | January 19, 2012, 4:17 am
  5. Er…no. Just no.

    Posted by MRDA | January 20, 2012, 6:26 pm

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