Copyright vs. Copywrong? The Case for SOPA - Page 2
Yet the general consensus among mouse-clicking whizzkids, is that SOPA is gradually squeezing the life out of the free knowledge that the internet is celebrated to provide. But isn't it just that SOPA is merely enforcing a much-needed protocol against copyright infringement? Because truly, the line between official and unofficial channels has become irretrievably blurred by cyber punks, hackers, pirates, trolls and gnomes (I might have made the last one up). Napster, once criminalized and disbanded would - I suspect - escape unscathed now.
In his controversial and outspoken blog, BMG Producer and Songwriter Leonidas “Freakchild” Chantzaras recently attacked the “scam and bullshit” of gratuitous music theft. To Spotify, Youtube and other online sharing sites stealing music, Chantzaras wrote “You are not great or genius,” but are “killing the income stream” and “making the professional life of a songwriter a nightmare.” The harsh realities of pursuing a career in the music business, and the safety of the industry itself, are things which SOPA and its institutional cohorts only want to protect against the hacker’s virtual swag bag.
From plagiarism and piracy to counterfeit and copyright, censorship continues to remain the ‘go to’ concern for internet users. SOPA’s quest to police the web like a virtual cop on the technological beat, and its demand to a host of search engines that they remove potentially dubious sites from the results it generates, is surely a commendable act of prevention that should be applauded, rather than shunned as a barbaric sterilising of your browsing freedom? Furthermore, by meditating on the art of a film paradise lost, Scorsese’s Hugo might just be the best advertisement for its initiatives that the SOPA regulating body could wish for. Even the word ‘Hugo’ invites it to be used as a memorable acronym (Halt! Unauthorised Gateways Open, maybe?). Wordplay aside, without SOPA there to curtail online content – and for those audiences familiar with Hugo’s signature image taken from French film-maker Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon – internet piracy will undoubtedly remain a real rocket in the eye.