Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA & PIPA are Personal for Me


Technically, SOPA is on hold in the House. PIPA is moving forward in the Senate -- there is a vote whether to discuss it or not, next week. There is a whole other bill in the Senate that is similar.

As a business owner who sells my own creative/intellectual property online, I am torn in two by all of this. I want my designs protected in a reasonable way. At the same time, I sell via sites that I need to be open for business 24/7.

The intent of the bills expand protection from existing laws to encompass international theft of intellectual rights. It's really about getting current with the global reality.

As a business owner who is effected either way by these bills, and as a social media user, my hopes are these:

1) All of Congress adjusts the language to protect free speech and deal with the new realities of how people communicate and share, while ensuring that the people who design/create aren't treated as donors. People who create for a living don't do it for free. Their work is less tangible than a couch or a saw blade or a shirt and therefore do need special consideration. However, the protection of the creative can't come at the cost of the very tools we use to sell.

2) American citizens, journalists and websites must stay CURRENT with the language of all these bills at each stage. Something that annoys me is when we, as a whole, keep yelling about a bill AFTER the language is changed. We lose so much when we don't keep up with changes and keep fighting about language that doesn't exist anymore. The process of passing a bill is longer and more complex than people have the attention span for. If this issue matters, people need to make sure they know what they're talking about at each step. Yelling about version one when we're already on version three is stupid.

3) I hope people will avoid letting the bad parts of any bill blind them to the good parts that are workable. We don't always need to throw a whole bill out. Sometimes we just need to re-work it. Maybe we need to re-work it a lot, but sometimes, that's all that's needed.

1 comment:

NowhereMan said...

what amazed me was how quick and huge the backlash for the bill was and how you had politicians who were co sponsoring the bill jump the ship like an Italian cruise ship captain!
What ever the final bill is,there will still be arguments on both sides over its fairness