So now people on Facebook and other places are saying “Awwww, what’s the big deal? Shouldn’t our intellectual property rights be protected?”
Of course they should, and there are laws already in place for that. But this PIPA and SOPA thing is not about protecting your intellectual property rights. Do you really think Big Government gives a shit if your book is stolen by a Chinese publishing company and pirated there?
No, something much more sinister is at play here. It’s about government itching to regulate, control and put its slimy fingers in the last free and unregulated space on earth: The Internet.
In my book Don’t Joke On The Stairs
I argue that one of the driving forces behind China’s relentless quest for world domination is a deep hatred for the USA while at the same time admiring the country and needing to emulate it in every way. China’s blueprint for infrastructure is visions of 1950′s cartoon The Jetsons, with large highways criss-crossing a landscape devoid of trees and other signs of nature, where people whizz to and from their work and living capsules in little cars while satellites circle overhead.
Now it seems that it’s the US (Congress) that wants to emulate China, with that country’s semi-hard and ever-tightening control of the internet. This is all about controlling what you can and cannot see and read, not about protecting your rights which you already have.
If they’re so concerned about pirates and rogue sites, why don’t they go directly after them? Why involve Google, PayPal and Wikipedia?
One of Obama’s closest advisers is one Cass Sunstein. In his book Republic.com he says this: “A system of limitless individual choices with respect to communications is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government.”
Oh really? Then what is? You are reading this precisely because we currently have ‘limitless choices’. Anyone who’s ever been across the border to China to find they can’t get on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo and intermittently Wikipedia as well as seeing TV news from Hong Kong mysteriously shut down in mid-sentence will know what I’m talking about.
Last week the website Bare Naked Islam was shut down by its host Word Press because 20-odd Muslims had complained about its content. Ironically Word Press is also very against PIPA and SOPA. Well, Word Press is the host and they have the right to shut down Bare Naked Islam as long as they give the owner of that website his money back. It’s stupid, misguided and cowardly, but it’s their right.Word Press is a company and can decide for itself. But no goverment has the right to tell Word Press to shut down any site. Ever. But that is exactly what will happen if these terrible laws go through.
OK, how about this: Someone steals my online stuff. I sue them, based on my intellectual property rights. I call the police. I beat them up in a dark alleyway when nobody is looking. What I don’t do, and should never do, is get the government to shut down sites that could potentially be linked to these people, stop their PayPal and credit cards and make sure Google is so scared they will take down every word that can possibly be linked to them.
If you want to lose your freedom of expression and make sure you can only access facts that the government has decided are fit for you to see, by all means, support PIPA and SOPA with all your might.
If not: Tell them where to get the fuck off.