Saturday, January 21, 2012

Welcome to the Intertubes Super Pacs !
 All UR Bases r B long 2 us.

Yeah ok that is a pretty old school meme, but then so am I. Well, it has been a hell of a week hasn't it? I don't even know where to start. I guess focus on the positive is the best way to go. Great things happened this week. Great things. The web came together in a monumental fashion to stop SOPA and PIPA from becoming insta -law. Talk about crazysauce! The day was saved. One battle in a big war did get won. Watching Twitter on Wednesday was one of the most astonishing days in recent history.

Who did it ? The tech industry, the bloggers, the non profits, the gamers, the 9gaggers, the activists, the hackers, the indies, the porn fans. Yes, the damn porn fans lol. There were some really awesome trending topics.  #FactsWithoutWikipedia  was one of my favorites. It was GREAT fun ! The web was under attack and it was not having it. They gave everyone an earful. Congress, Senate, the White House and the people that bought them off had a really bad day.

To be clear, SOPA and PIPA used the word "piracy" to misrepresent bills in congress that would demolish our web as an avenue of open and free speech & forward innovation. It ate the constitution for lunch. There was a SEVEN minute hearing on PIPA before it was rubber stamped for cloture vote. The House flat out REFUSED to hear from the tech industry or anyone else that had concerns about this bill. Now there are some debates about piracy and what it is or is not  doing to certain industries.Some crazy unfounded numbers are floating around. There are some arguments about copyright law and how it is continually getting more and more draconian.

I can only speak for my own experience. Yeah, if you want to view content that under existing law is copyrighted you can do so. My argument is that is not necessarily a bad thing for those industries. I realize that feels extreme to anyone that reacts emotionally to the word "piracy".  Often the industry themselves will post their content in a "post radio"modern style format to garner attention. In my experience that works. I heard a great song on Bones awhile back called Pride. I went to you tube and looked up a fan vid, found the song and listened a few times. It was an indie group that had failed  due to lack of sufficient saturation named Syntax. I proceeded to buy the song and I also now own the cd.  Twilight is another example. I saw the movie at a questionable site, bought the books and then the DVD's. I faithfully line up to see all the movies as well. Now I admit that this 13 year old girl franchise has a lot of awful and is not telling our young girls a very good message. Regardless, the cgi wolves and cute young people are fun to watch. I love edgy gamer artist Luis Royo. After seeing his pictures on the web, I bought his book.  This has happened a lot, I see or hear something that I am interested in, I find  it on the web, then I buy it. Under SOPA and PIPA this content would not exist. I would not be buying anything, because I never had any exposure to it.

As many others have so clearly stated Piracy is a service problem. Technology is ripping along at nascar speeds. Industry Super Pacs that cannot cope such as MPAA and RIAA  are frustrated. They should be embarrassed. Rather than evolve, these old guard industries are reacting. They are reacting like spoiled children. Old business models are dying faster than the Beta format did. Artists can self-publish now. The "middle man" is becoming obsolete. Apple just released an app for authors that will enable them to self publish without paying the publishing industry ANYTHING. Start up indie musicians are not feeding the recording industry labels. New movies are getting made and bypassing ALL of the old guard Hollyweird.  Cable news is so much more a fictional tv drama these days than actual news, many web users don't even watch it any more. Why bother when there are so many indie sites out there that don't put up fake videos and are not owned by anyone named Rupert Murdoch ? Many of us, myself included, have fired their cable tv company in favor of  more selective and cheaper content. The shows I watch can be found legally and free on the web or with a small paid subscription.

This is creating a lot of new money and innovation in our society and our economy. It is also dealing a death punch to those that refuse to see the writing on the wall. So here comes the old way of dealing with these things. MPAA chief Chris Dodd and his Super Pac of cronies decided to buy their way out of this. If you check the federal election site or just Google "campaign contributions SOPA PIPA" you can easily follow the money. THEY BOUGHT THE WHOLE GOVERNMENT. The government did not stay bought. They caved in droves when faced with millions of screaming angry people that had no pseudo facts when Wikipedia shut down. A peaceful, REALLY LOUD non-violent world wide protest did the unthinkable. It stopped the old guard Super Pac dead in it's tracks.

We won this battle. There is no doubt that we have not won this war yet. There is a huge media push ad buy- in now funded by the Super Pac to ask the American people to reconsider. After all, how can you be "for" piracy? It is the same old thing, Only if you like piracy would you support stopping legislation that will end existing law. This dying industry that cannot evolve wants to police the world and burn down anything and everything that it dislikes or is threatened by. It is the same fallacy trap as " Do you like money ?" Money is used to buy everything from wars to child pornography. so hence you if you like money, you like wars and child pornography. These kinds of silly gimmicks are tiresome. You can be against  piracy and still not agree that we need to take down 100 websites with a nuclear warhead aimed at the future of the entire internet. Not that it would work anyways. The websites would be back up somewhere else by the end of that business day.

Anyways, sorry I rambled a bit today. I am just GLOWING at how great a job the web did to defend itself. Everyone that participated is to be commended. They will rebrand SOPA and PIPA as New Coke, but at least now we have a fighting chance. Stay informed. Stay on your elected representatives like flies on molasses.