Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA is not soup

Maybe today I should be avoiding Internet use because of the blackouts, and show my support for Wikipedia, but I’m in the mood for a little good old-fashioned Internet advocacy.

SOPA will do more harm to the American people and our economic state (which is frail at best) than any other legislation that has come to my attention since I realized legislation was a thing. SOPA will take down this blog for our use of outside sources, videos and pictures. SOPA will shut down businesses. This isn’t about stopping piracy, this is about changing the way that I live my life. I know I’m not the only one who depends on the Internet in some way. Thanks to the Internet, I’ve found apartments to live in and I’ve reconnected with friends from all throughout my life. I’ve found furniture and information on cars. I’ve learned loads from articles on Wikipedia. I’ve benefited in almost every way possible. Even my husband has the free Internet markets to thank for his paycheck every other week.

Why are older people who hardly use the Internet sitting in a room the ones to decide how this is going to play out?

Why are the corporations who have withheld their content from us upset about piracy? I think Netflix is a perfect example of the fact that people are willing to pay to stream rather than download. Not to mention and People are happy to pay a small monthly fee (or larger annual sum in some cases) in order to access content they’d like to see. The corporations claim they lose billions of dollars to piracy, and maybe this is true, but many of these corporations have not tried streaming for a few dollars. iTunes is concrete evidence that people will pay a dollar or two to watch one episode of a favorite show that has been made available to them. Or a few extra bucks for a whole season. We have so many great means to access content, and I think corporations will find that people would rather pirate a movie that is still in theaters than pay $10 for each individual in their family. In my case, there are currently 6 family members living here in my parent’s house. My husband and I live here to save money, we do not go to great lengths to see every movie we’re interested in. We’d rather work hard and save up than spend $25 or more on tickets and popcorn every weekend.

We are, however, more than happy to pay our monthly Netflix fee, and come home to stream a movie and make air-popped popcorn at home.

Stop SOPA. Stop it now.