It’s probably the happiest Friday of the year to most people in the western part of the world today (it’s already Saturday over here). The news about Lamar Smith (SOPA chief sponsor) pulled the bill now spread across the net. However for me the ‘threat’ is not over yet.
It is not over until those SOPA backers learned about the real definition of piracy and the difference between piracy and theft. Lamar saying online piracy is the same as “offline” theft sounds so stupid. Although piracy is wrong, saying that it’s a theft is also wrong because if anything piracy only leads to loss of revenue but not property loss.
Sometimes I think piracy is necessary, especially for copyrighted content that has no available way to be obtained legally, but only for sharing purpose and not for commercial distribution. For example many music videos are made only for the purpose of airing on MTV or anywhere else but not for sale. I’m not a fan of American entertainment but I understand there are fans who want to keep those videos for personal collection. However if there’s no way to buy it even if they’re willing to pay for it then the only way to keep it is to rip it off from TV broadcast or online streaming. Don’t blame those people, they wanted to buy those content but copyright holders just didn’t sell them.
Now let’s look back into SOPA. If we look deeper we’d surely found that according to SOPA any websites with features that make it possible to post infringing content will be deemed as “facilitating intellectual property crime“. No matter how you rephrase it to make it sounds good, it’s still bad from the core to the surface. Why? Because that is like it is a crime to provide a way to share videos or to put an image in a website as those features can be used to make copyrighted content available for the so-called “illegal” sharing. If you ask me that is like blaming the whole internet itself because the internet allows users to send/receive from one another!
That said, there’s a possibility that SOPA might be resurrected in the future, as long as the SOPA lobbyists still doing their business. Oh right I have a better idea. Let’s kill those SOPA lobbyists, I mean the Hollywood, MPAA/RIAA. Switch to anime. Anime has its own piracy problems too but the Japanese anime industries players are not that butthurt as those Americans (although it may have worse licensing system than the US).
What we truly need here is not SOPA and we don’t have to prosecute the small ‘pirates’ either (people who get copyrighted content because it’s unavailable locally). We need copyrighted content to be available everywhere so that people could get what they want whenever they want. Our copyright and licensing, as well as patent system need a major revamp because the current one only makes the copyright holders win. The consumers need to win too!