Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Locks Keep Out the Honest

You know that awkward silence when you're talking to someone and you realize that they're just not there anymore?  It's an uncomfortable thing when it happens on a personal level...  and from time to time it does happen because we are all busy and our minds wander when we're less that completely engaged.  Rude, yes.  But a fact of life nonetheless.

Legislation currently before both the United States Senate and House of Representatives could do that to all of us.  It's called SOPA (Stop On-line Piracy Act) or PIPA (Protect IP Act) and grants the government the ability to shut someone up any time they think a copyright has been infringed upon.  Think about sites like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and even blogs like this one.  Worse even is that the domain owners become responsible for what users of their service post.  So, basically, Facebook could be sued out of existence over what you and I choose to post there.  That doesn't sound right and it smacks of way too much government control and interference.

My grandpa always said that door locks only keep out the honest.  He was right... if a burglar wants in your house bad enough, he will find a way.  Similarly, laws already exist to protect owners of copyrighted material from having it distributed on-line without permission and/or payment.  But they haven't stopped the piracy.  These new laws, which may put the muzzle of censorship on you and me, won't stop it either.  If someone wants to pirate the material bad enough, they will find a way.

Here's a short video that explains it better than I ever could:

Do some research and make up your own mind, then let your Congressmen know what you think.

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