Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If you like MinnPics, kindly oppose SOPA

It is my understanding that websites which aggregate content would definitely be in a grey area when it comes to supposed piracy under the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intelectual Property Act) bills proposed by congress. MinnPics is one of those websites. None of the content posted to MinnPics is mine. While it is all linked back to its original owner and is all user-contributed content openly available on the popular Yahoo-owned photo sharing website Flickr, the company which I use to host MinnPics could pull down the website in order to protect themselves in fear of further retribution under SOPA and PIPA.
While I highly doubt that it would actually come to a consequence so dire that MinnPics would cease to exist, imagine your favorite website going away because of either fear of lawsuits or actual lawsuits from people wielding far too much power under new and unjust legislation.

There definitely is a problem with piracy in America but such broad and generalized legislation like SOPA and PIPA is not the solution. With two major lobbyist groups (The Motion Picture Association of America - MPAA and Recording Industry Association of America - RIAA) fighting tooth and nail against the technological advances in the world since the late 1990s instead of embracing those advances and finding alternative business models maybe not entirely centered on those models but using them to their power they have instead sued the largest consumers of their products (music and movies) and obviously lobbied extremely hard to have the result be the SOPA and PIPA legislation being seriously considered by congress.

Instead of fighting change, it's time for the RIAA and MPAA to embrace the changes of the past decade and reinvent themselves or vanish enitrely. Maybe those two associations will go the way of Sears, KMart and numerous other retailers who failed to act swiftly in our increasingly online-centered world.

Call or write your U.S. senators and representatives and find out if they support or oppose SOPA and PIPA. If they support it and you oppose it, express your displeasure to them or leave a message expressing your displeasure. In the end, its passage in its current form could mean the end of many websites as well as the possibility that websites could vanish without due process under the fear of stiff penalties. I love curating MinnPics and don't make a single cent from it but would hate to have it vanish. Say no to SOPA and PIPA.

1 comment:

Anand said...

US congress trying to change the meaning of internet which is against the vision of the founder of internet. I believe the basic idea of internet is to share ideas and thoughts without any Restrictions. "Please Do not try to impose a threat to this ocean of knowledge"