Just to let you shiny people know, I may say some bad words in the text below. So if you don’t want to see them, I’ve left you this video of a Skyrim mod where all the dragons have been changed into My Little Ponies. Enjoy.
A lot of people doing the dark today, all on honor of kicking SOPA and PIPA in the ass with hob-nailed boots. Both links are up, by the way, and for obvious reasons–namely, information needs to be free. And if you aren’t educated, then you can’t make up your own mind.
Oh, sure. We know why these are up here. Because the Internet is rife with piracy. Go out on YouTube any day and, horror of horrors, someone has put up a video of a song–that they don’t have permission to play! Oh, my gawd, I can hear Mista Kurtz now: the horror, the horror. Or someone has put up a picture, and they didn’t get permission from the people who own the copyright on movie it was taken from! Or, worst of all . . . you put up a video clip without the express written permission of Major League Baseball.
Now you’ve stepped into the shit, my friend.
Let’s face it: this isn’t about protecting the Internet from piracy. Oh, sure, we’re told we need to stop the rip-offs that happen every day, that a lot of people are hurt by Internet pirates who just take and take and don’t give a shit if you’re hurt in the process.
No, what this is about . . . is money. Big money from big players, who only want to get bigger. And these players got some important people helping them out. I mean, come on: SOPA is sponsored by Larmar Smith, a genuinely batshit insane douche if there ever was one, and PIPA is sponsored by Patrich Leahy, who, while usually something of a moderate, is way the hell off-base on this.
But if you really want to see how these players just shuffle people around, one only needs to look at the current head of the Motion Picture Association of America, one of the biggest players behind SOPA. The chairman of MPAA is none other than former senator Chris Dodd, and boy, is he pissed that people are blacking out the Internet today. He’s pretty much calling it a “gimmick”, and a “dangerous one” designed to “punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals.”
Lets face it: there is a problem. Stuff is being ripped off all the time through the Internet. Or, I should say, it gets ripped off and then shared through the Internet. I mean, did someone really rip off Transformers 3: We Still Ain’t Got a Freakin’ Script through an Internet download? No. They got it through other means and then . . . well, someone in their insanity decided people really wanted to see this, so they passed it around. I know; it doesn’t make sense, but it happens.
It’s no surprise that a lot of piracy comes through Asia, in particular China, and that government doesn’t give much of a shit about piracy in any form. I remember the days, back in the very late 1990’s and the early 2000’s, when, as the visiting IT guy, I’d catch someone in our China office loading software they’d picked up at “the night market”–the place where you bought all your pirated stuff–on to their computer. Hell, I once caught one of the office managers installing the newest Microsoft op system, and sure enough–straight outta the black market that shit came.
China is, to put it bluntly, the World’s Knock Off Artists, and people there will pirate every damn thing they can while the government looks the other way. How bad can it get? How about 3 fake Apple stores in Kunming? Oh, did I say 3? Those are just the ones in Kunming that were shut down. How about 22 total? And the ones that were shut down were found to be “trading without a licence.” Not that they were selling bootleg shit out of a bootleg store. No. They didn’t have their paperwork in order.
Of course I could say this is payback for Apple using Foxcomm to make their iPhone, and where the working conditions are so horrible that, recently, over 100 people said “give us our pay or we’re gonna kill ourselves.” Amazon uses them to make the Kindle as well . . .
Of course, no one does much about China. They bitch about it, yeah, but they don’t do anything. Because, in the end, it’s all about money, and it’s easier to look the other way there and continue pandering to 1.3 billion consumers, while busting some 18 year old’s ass over an Adele video on YouTube.
And why would “liberal” Hollywood get behind these bills? Please. As I’ve pointed out before, while a fair number of actors and actresses are, by definition, liberal, the people running the studios are all about putting asses in the seats and coin in their pockets, and liberal isn’t something they get behind. They want to fight the easy fight, and that means they’ve finally gotten tired of having their lawyers chase down some guy who’s set up a Deep Space 9 fan site and are currently threatening to lock their ass up for 20 years if they don’t pull down those pictures of Ben Sisko. Naw. Let the government do that for us. And while they’re at it, just shut down the whole fucking Internet as well, ’cause we know the greatest threat to company profits are those illegal fansites dedicated to getting Kira Nerys and The Intendant together.
If you really want to see how SOPA and PIPA play to the big money players, just look at how lowly writers fair. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t hear about how Amazon is guilty of allowing plagiarized, or just out-and-out ripped off, ebooks to be sold through their outlet. And when this is brought to their attention, the attitude is sort of like, “Phuff! Go away, kid, you’re bothering me.” This happens a lot with other sites selling, or even giving away, pilfered ebooks, as well.
Sort of the same situation with pirated role playing games, like the ones sold through Drive ThruRPG. I can find copies of just about every game somewhere on the Internet, and independent developers lose their asses because of this.
Is the government going to step in and shut down a couple of sites because Cubical 7 is getting ripped off? Is the government going to shut down Amazon if I discover my ebook is being sold under another title by another writer who decided to rob my ass?
Yeah . . . you know the answer to those questions, too, don’t you?
In these times where the debate on corporate money in politics is coming to a head, it’s plainly obvious that SOPA and PIPA is just one more example of how that money is buying the people at the top what they want. In the end this is about money, but it’s also about control. It’s all about making more money for the people who already have it, and tightening the noose around everyone else’s neck if they decide to get out of line.
In the end, it’s all about seeing how much longer you’re going to swallow this fucking lie that you’re really free.