19 January, 2012

Obligatory SOPA/PIPA post

Numerous other folks have covered the SOPA/PIPA issue far better than I ever could, but I'll add my two cents of support here: Even though SOPA/PIPA appear to be on the ropes, everyone needs to, at the very least, contact their congresscritters and express their displeasure at this prospective legislation. Assuming you do disapprove of SOPA/PIPA, which everyone should, since it doesn't even set out to accomplish what the people who support it want it to accomplish. It's like using a tactical nuclear weapon to take out a beehive behind your house. Yes, the beehive will be gone; but so will your house and all your neighbors. The collateral damage is just too high.

The actual magnitude of Internet piracy of copyrighted works is in dispute, but even if you take the most extreme (read: highly exaggerated) claims of Big Media as literal truth, SOPA/PIPA still are a terrible idea. Not just for the sake of principle, but for the sake of practicality as well: SOPA/PIPA are likely unconstitutional (prior restraint); they seek to grant the government and private companies far too much power with far too little oversight or balance; and the things they allow could and would for absolute certain be abused.

Like I said, many others have already gone over this territory better than I ever could. If you haven't gotten in contact with your elected officials, you should do so now. I could say that it'll just take a few easy minutes to fill out the contact forms on their websites, but should I really have to encourage people to do their basic civic duty? Keeping an eye on our politicians is absolutely critical. Voting isn't even the absolute bare minimum; letting your representatives know what you think is the absolute bare minimum, and do you really want to be someone who just does the bare minimum? 'Cause if you do, you'll get exactly the government you deserve: one that ignores its citizens, listens only to the big moneyed interests, and ends up screwing up your life.

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