STOP SOPA – Why it MATTERS to YOU; PNR Networks sites to go dark on Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Re: the debate about the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, as it’s become known. Someone has to stand up and tell the truth.
Most Hollywood gossip column sites are pushing pro-SOPA stories because it’s in their best interest. Both Deadline.com and TheWrap.com (and more than a few others as well, most based in La La Land) are so pro-SOPA that you have to know they must be TERRIFIED that if they come out against it, the studios will cut them off from their stories. Probably true. Because the movie and television companies (and the recording industry as well) are the most corrupt, most untruthful companies on the planet. The Occupy movement should be targeting Hollywood, not Wall Street – it would be really interesting to see what would happen. But that won’t happen…ever. Not while Hollywood is 99% LEFT..and the 1% that are RIGHT (in both politics and being correct) have no chance in HELL of doing anything about it.
But as the studios have rarely, if ever, bothered to cooperate with PNR or it’s sister blogs (and not for a lack of trying) let me spell it out in plain and simple english for those fellow entertainment blogs and websites out there who are too naive and too trusting (or too thick) to understand the true consequences.
If SOPA passes, it means the end of the internet as we know it today. Period. End of Discussion.
Those pro-SOPA people calling people (like yours truly) who say it will stifle free speech liars are, in fact, lying themselves. Maybe not on purpose – perhaps they haven’t read the entire bill – but they’re still wrong, if not out and out lying. You can add as many changes to the bill as you want to, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), and you can continue to say that we’re all wet. But we’re not, and you KNOW IT. If you didn’t, why would you be trying to discredit us as forcefully as you have been? And why would you be trying to salvage your preposterous bill by making miniscue changes to try and assuage the tech industry?
SOPA will give the Justice Department (which really has no business being involved in this in the first place – why is government so anxious to help police just one segment of private industry?) the authority to shut down websites that have been accused of copyright violations WITHOUT due process or showing due cause.
Note the use of that word, accused. Not proven, or caught dead to rights, but accused.
There are NO specifics in this bill and the ProtectIP bill now before the Senate listing what constitutes a copyright violation; the studios want it that way, because they want to be able to use this to flex their muscles. And if they deny it, they, along with the MPAA and its new head, former Senator (and accused ethics violator) Chris Dodd, are so full of crap it’s not funny.
The way it’s written seems to be specifically designed to be so ambiguous as to ensure that ANYTHING the studios say against you will allow the Justice (?) Department to swoop in and forcibly shut your website down. And you, the website owner, are allowed NO DEFENSE at all – there’s no provisions for appealing the decision in the bill. None.
And…it doesn’t really matter that you may NOT be violating copyright or not – once the studios ACCUSE you of it, then your site can be shut down. Fair Use be damned…
Say you’ve written a story that one studio or another doesn’t like – a bad review of a recent film or something showing one of their movies or stars in a negative light. They can then turn to the DOJ and say “this website has a photo from the movie on it that we didn’t authorize them to use and is therefore a copyright violation.” Guess what? ZAP – there goes your site.
Although it’s ostensibly designed to prevent the very real problem that piracy is posing to the industry, and they should have the right to take steps to prevent such theft, the bill goes WAAAAYYY too far. The studios would theoretically be able to apply this broad legislation to almost ANYTHING and as long as they frame it correctly, they will be able to target sites they don’t want around, find a violation of some sort, and file a complaint against it. And once again, ZAP – there goes your site.
As much as I loathe its massive shortcomings, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act passed in 1999 is more than ample enough copyright protection – even it goes too far, as we witnessed with the RIAA and the outrageous “grandma lawsuits” of the 2000s, and the complete obliteration of the first wave of internet radio sites like NetRadio, DiscJockey.Com and Spinner. If SOPA had been conceived and passed at that time…we’d still be living in 1999.
Think about It this way – YouTube wouldn’t have lasted even one day as a new site under SOPA. There would be no internet radio, no streaming movies, no digital copy-filled DVDs, no iTunes, no smartphones, no Facebook, no MySpace, no Hulu, No Roku, No Boxee, no podcasting…and NO CLOUD, either. Technology would have been stifled by legislation. If this act passes, some people think the studios’ latest “hold all the cards” innovation, UltraViolet, would be made illegal – I’m not too sure on that, but theoretically it IS possible that it could be depending on the circumstances.
Do you REALLY want to lose your site because some uptight exec doesn’t like the fact that you badmouthed their movie? Or worse yet, that someone COMMENTING on your site badmouthed it?
That’s right – comments won’t be protected any longer either. If someone you have NO CONTROL over uploads something – or even says something – that the studios perceive as violating copyright, they will still be able to come after YOU for the violation. And you know what? ZAP! THERE GOES YOUR SITE.
Once again, the studios are blaming the internet for the trouble, when we’re really part of the solution. Most respectable websites, like ours, do not accept ads from or link to sites that clearly violate copyright issues. Don’t single us out as the problem – we’re not. We LOVE the movie industry. And…WE WANT TO HELP. But you have to work with us, because sometimes what the studios want is above and beyond what ANYONE should be doing. And SOPA is proof positive of their overreaching efforts.
To show how serious we are about this subject, PNR Networks sites have installed a “Stop SOPA” banner in the upper right corner. Click on this banner and you can get all the info you need to know on the real story behind SOPA. Or go to Wikipedia and type in SOPA and read it as well.
This Wednesday, January 18, from 8 AM to 8 PM local time, most PNR Networks sites will participate in the SOPA Blackout campaign. Popcorn N Roses, Subject:CINEMA, Boston Popcorn, Indie Film Spotlight, Platinum Roses’ Garden, In The Xone, and The Kirkham Report (and possibly Cavebabble as well, but that decision is being left up to its webmaster) will all be blacked out for 12 hours to bring attention to SOPA and why we cannot allow it to pass.
Also in support of the SOPA Blackout, this week’s Subject:CINEMA MICRO Focus podcast will be delayed by one day; this week’s show, on the classic film “Chinatown”, will premiere on Thursday evening instead of Wednesday evening.
Please go to http://congress.org (or click on the “Stop SOPA” banner in the upper right corner) and write your congressman and let him know you will not accept a pro vote on SOPA, and do the same for your Senators on the Protect IP Bill. Urge them to come to a compromise that will satisfies all sides of the issue WITHOUT costing the majority of people their first amendment rights. Too many people in Washington are colluding with the greedy, overreaching executives in the entertainment industry, and believe me in the long run, EVERYONE will suffer.
- SOPA Author to Remove ISP Blocking Provision (pcworld.com)
- The SOPA Debate (impressionsthroughmedia.com)
- SOPA opera: the Internet dukes it out with Congress (cbsnews.com)
- Author Of SOPA Is A Copyright Violator (huffingtonpost.com)
- SOPA Author’s Own Website Violated Copyright (newser.com)
- Reddit to go dark in SOPA protest – Computerworld (computerworld.com)
- Rep. Lamar Smith is amazed SOPA opponents “don’t want to protect American consumers and businesses” (venturebeat.com)
- EFF speaks out: DNS blacklisting just the tip of the SOPA iceberg (geek.com)