What’s for Dessert? SOPA-peeonyas?

Posted: January 16, 2012 by HoarseMan in Abuckortwo, the Apostasy
Tags: , , , , , , ,

surveillance THM-8263798 - classified

Yep, I think that protecting intellectual property and copyrights are worthwhile efforts. But this SOPA thing can’t be the answer. Briefly, it will allow agencies in guvmint (as my friend Lem Willertree of the Gonads Holler calls it) to shut down access — or should I say force all ISPs to shut down access to sites outside the US who are believed to be selling or distributing products — or content — that is in violation of copyright laws — U.S. Copyright laws.

On the surface, this is all well and good but then like every other piece of draconian legislation, there are the what-ifs and downright abuses. (Like just image if right now there were states in the U.S. who had passed or are in the process of passing legislation that could radically reduce the ability of many Americans to vote in the upcoming “Buy Your Congressman” sale they’ll call an election. — but I digress)

This SOPA legislation would be a lot easier to handle if in the past couple of years our elected (sort-of) representatives and The Supremes (not the talented ones) had carved into stone that America’s Hallowed Corpulations were PEOPLE. Yes, real people with little pee-pees and tiny toes and vaginas and such. The basic difference is that many of America’s Hallowed Corpulations have more than one a-hole. The official name for the decision was, (I think, but of course the Hoarseman is often wrong) “The People Who Think Money Should Buy All of The Guvmint Shenanigans You’re Willing To Pay For vs. People With Souls.” The Souls lost out to drinks at some golf-course bar in Scotland.

surveillance THM-8263799

But the legislation is put forth and supported by those same exact Corpulations. They of course will receive the financial benefit while the Main Street Guy, the Flyover Gal, the Not-Quite-White Border State twins, and the You-Can’t-Do-THAT-in-America couples will have to pay for all the enforcement and infrastructure with their tax dollars — because the Corpulations didn’t have to pay any this year for some reason.

Then — the What-Ifs.

  • What if somebody on a British (let’s pretend they’re actually friends of the U.S. Guvmint) website complains about the quality of an American company’s product — which is likely made in Shenzhen or Bratislava — what’s to say the company couldn’t pressure the enforcers to shut it down. After all the product Brand Name is intellectual property and is likely, in this case, used without permission.
  • Who has never seen a forum where somebody posted “So-and-So’s customer service sucks the big one” in a consumer forum. (The smart-ass in me wants to ask “who’s big one?” but I digress.) Isn’t using the CompanyName® in this manner a misuse of intellectual property?
  • Anybody ever read an article from the Guardian, London Times, or Der Spiegel to start the day? I do, about 90% of the time. What if one of these online versions had ONE AD — out of hundreds, perhaps thousands — that made an offer to sell in violation of the terms in SOPA. The whole freaking website should be blocked from the entire United States?
  • Or try this one – an American small business which has a good shot at coming up with a product to compete with one from a large corporation, one that does NOT infringe on the the corporation’s IP. The small business guy gets some funding and help from his father-in-law in Canada who also owns a web-hosting company. (Making the source of the data “foreign” perhaps.) Could the Big American Corpulation use SOPA to shut the little guy down for IP violations without having to actually attempt to prove in court something that isn’t provable, because it isn’t true

This last one might strike a chord with writer friends and acquaintances. What if, with SOPA in their back pockets, big publishers used the fact that your small (or independent) publishing house or eBook distributor used a server on foreign soil. And your latest book contained a misprint.

Your heroine’s parents ask her about the new young man she’s been seeing, a young artisan from town.

The parents ask, “Your young man, is it Barry the cobbler?”

“No, ” she replied. “It’s Harry,  potter.”

Oh no! A misprint they left out the word [the]! After a few hundred copies get out, your publisher’s servers are disconnected from all U.S. locations. Why because the American reprinter of a British book invoked SOPA. Not to get you particularly but to “send the word” to all those upstart independents. Will your publisher have the resources to battle it out, especially if they can’t sell anything in the US of A?

CAUTION: PG-13 language: Just maybe any or all of those things could happen — speculation on my part, but then again I could very well the person to whom a commenter on dealbreaker.com so eloquently said, “Suck my big swinging dick ! Hey, Main Street Guy, Fuck Off.”1

Hmmm, seems to me that some people might call SOPA burdensome regulation — but hey, how burdensome can something be when it closes the doors to competition and worse yet — innovation.

“My damned board said, ‘Screw innovation, it costs too much. Just make us more money with what you’ve already got.’ Who the hell do you think we are?”

Cave quid dicis, quando, et cui
Hoarseman

— The commentary above is strictly opinion, rendered loudly with unmitigated gall.

References:

Some recent news regarding SOPA:

CNET 12/21/2011: How SOPA Would Affect You”

CBS News 1/16/2012:Wikipedia to Join Web Blackout Protesting SOPA

1 ref: October 13,2011 Dealbreaker.com – Collateral Damage from Occupy Wall Street

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