foolsguinea: (Default)
I have had so many thoughts running through my head that I thought I couldn't get them down. But in a nutshell:

That SOPA (the anti-YouTube, anti-Mozilla bill) would, after cleaning out YouTube of infringing material, still be a tool to shut it down arbitrarily. They'd find some video of a kid dancing with a Wiggles song in the background and use that as a pretext to shut down a site that also serves dissent against, say, the emir of Kuwait.

That felonizing copyright infringement would effectively disenfranchise great numbers of us and kill democracy. Even if they haven't charged you and taken away your vote, that's because you haven't stuck your head up high enough. Run for office, or lead a movement, & they'll use some video you uploaded to YouTube to go after you & discredit you (even though it wasn't a felony at the time).

That trying to stop all occurrences of a given action, such as copyright infringement, illegal immigration, or even rape (yep, rape), may require policies that cause worse problems. That the cure may be worse than the disease. Sometimes the best we can do is make a token effort in a given direction and accept that some things we can't stop.

(This should not be taken as an endorsement of rape.)

To stop all illegal immigration, we'd have to make this country a noticeably lousier place to live. Not worth it.

To stop all rape, we'd have to have a security state so intrusive that the government could research our behavior super-efficiently, find things that large numbers of people do that a helpful legislature could be persuaded to outlaw, and disenfranchise any threats to the ruling class, or lock us up for convict labor. (I dunno, maybe that one's reaching.)

We haven't been able to stop unauthorized reproduction of sound recording since the invention of reel-to-reel tape. To stop online piracy, you'd have to, well, abolish online. But they can sure make a lot of people miserable for low-level transformative works and fair uses trying.

And to stop governments from ever doing this crap to us again, we'd have to abolish legislatures and live by tradition alone; that's going to leave some real problems unaddressed.

I called one of my Congressman's offices today; I mentioned my concern about SOPA being used politically if it passes, cleans up YouTube, and stays on the books. I doubt it will do any good; I don't trust my Congressman not to vote where the money flows. But it's worth a shot. I suggest you make some noise in that direction as well.

(I need to call my Senators as well, the Senate Bill is also very bad.)

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