Published in Editorials

SOPA and PIPA threat moves into the shadows after MPAA threatens to pull campaign funding

by on21 January 2012 3640 times

CashOne thing we have always prided ourselves on here at DecryptedTech is to look through the surface of issues at hand. Anything can be miss-read on the surface and taken the wrong way. We all are guilty of it, how many times have you gotten a question on a test wrong because you did not read it properly? I have done that more times that I care to count. However, it was this type of issue that has taught me to read between the lines and look beneath the PR and marketing that is shoved in the public’s faces every day.

That having been said we have always looked at SOPA and PIPA as desperate acts of a dying business model, but one that also had ramifications for politicians and media companies in their desire to control information and enforce their ideals and principals on the public. On January 18th an unprecedented protest was held on the internet where literally thousands of websites went dark for the day or masked their logos and blocked certain ads to show their opposition to both SOPA and PIPA. Millions of US voters signed and online petition to stop these two bills and millions more phone calls were sent in.

In the end the politicians that thought they could slide this bill in on the “saving jobs” line found that the voting public was smarter than that. They looked at the number of jobs that have been pushed overseas each year by corporations in the MPAA and RIAA and did not buy that line for one minute.

Now SOPA has lost major support and both SOPA and PIPA have been shelved for now, but rest assured they are far from dead. We wrote about this the day after the blackout when the announcement of the MegaUpload takedown came out. The people behind these bills want this to pass so bad they are willing to do almost anything now. You will see them point to how much the MegaUpload investigation cost, the time it took, and how much money was lost during this time. The last number is something of an imaginary number as they actually make up the value of the shows “per-view” and then apply that to an estimated number of how many times it would be potentially bought.

These numbers are all intended to show how bad piracy hurt the economy (and it does, but in a very limited scale). The people behind SOPA and PIPA do not care about the lost jobs at all; they honestly could care less about the factory workers or truck drivers. They only care about the money they bring in personally. This can be proven by former Senator Chris Dodd’s (Head of the Motion Picture Association of America) statements made on Fox news:

"Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,"

We are confident that the guys on the floor or the Grips, Lighting Guys and other labor jobs are not the “Jobs” that Dodd is talking about here. It is the executives that have the multi-million dollar salaries that he is talking about. This means they are desperate to hang on to their high-paying salaries and outdated business model. The open threat here to congress is that “Hollywood” is going to pull funding for campaigns and push that money towards people that will do their bidding. It also means that Hollywood is willing to do this regardless of what the public wants or what is in the best interest of the economy and the nation. This is a dangerous mindset to be in.

I would not be surprised to see SOPA or PIPA tacked onto legislation that everyone wants to be passed. It will be at the end and pushed through by the same group. If that happens, things will get ugly very quickly there are no restrictions on who can be blocked, no provisions for due process and nothing to prevent corporation from blacking out a website by accusation alone.

We are heading into a very dangerous time in the life of the Internet and technology in general. We urge anyone that is opposed to these laws to continue to remind their congress men and women this. If we do not keep this up, we may very well find SOPA or PIPA passed right under our noses.

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Last modified on 21 January 2012
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