I know I'm 'taking a break' from blogging, and you've all been WONDERFUL in your support and understanding, but this is an important issue that I think more people should know about.
Stop Online Piracy Act, and it's sister, the Protect IP Act
Please, don't be fooled. I'm against authors (and developers, and musicians, and artists) getting their music stolen, just like most of you. But there are some things about SOPA you should know.
"The bill, if made law, would
expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods." -Wikipedia
It sounds good, right? It sounds important.
It's also utterly ineffective at stoping piracy. I could get around it, after a few minutes of instruction, you could get around it.
Problem is, if you want to remain a law-abiding citizen, you can't.
Do you know (could you find out) the IP address of the sites you enjoy visiting? Great! No government Big Brother for you.
Do you NOT know the IP address? Bummer, now every site you visit is monitored.
I could go into all the details here, but really, find out for yourself - here are some great sites:
Wikipedia (which participated in a black-out to raise awareness against SOPA)
Google (The black box? Yes, that's also for awareness against SOPA)
BBC News (One of the few media sites that's reporting)
An Open Letter to Washington by the founders of Yahoo!, Google, Firefox, Wikipedia, etc.
I'm including the last one because there are both companies I like and companies I dislike on the list. Notice, however, the distinct lack of technology based companies and web-based companies - you know, the people who actually have a clue about how to stop piracy. True, the ESA is on there, (Entertainment Software Association) and it's assumed that they're speaking for the gaming community. That is NOT true. In fact, there's a petition going around among gamers to boycott E3, the largest ESA-run gaming conference in North America.
This applies to you. Don't get scared, don't get paranoid, but do be aware. And if you have a chance, help stop SOPA and PIPA. You can be against piracy AND against these bills.