Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Sucks But Not So Much

Update 2: Megaupload going down is huge. Rapidshare should be next. Anonymous is fighting back.

Update: interesting… Google does all kinds of great things with it's search results. Like also putting competitors at the bottom of results.

So, Google and Wiki are in protest mode today and here's my two cents. Basically, these companies and others like them, whether operating for profit or not, want content. They want it free and they don't care how they get it. They don't care if the content violates copyrights and trademarks ("that's your problem"). They don't care if the content is true or false, lies or truth, good or bad. THEY JUST WANT FREE CONTENT because content is what drives the web. And although I don't agree with everything about SOPA and I don't care how Google and the like get their content, I do think that THEY should be the ones verifying the content put on THEIR sites. And by verify, I mean whether it's legal to post or not. The problem for them is that sites like YouTube, Wikipedia and Facebook are so friggin huge, such a task would be really, really hard. Really hard.*

Frankly, I don't know how a site like YouTube has been allowed to exist all these years when most of the content is violating somebody's copyright. It's criminal that Google gets away with this without being sued back to the stoneage. There's a lot riding on this SOPA decision because without content, or a web with a lot less content, the internet becomes less attractive, which means less advertising dollars, less traffic and less power to influence. But don't worry, the web would not shut down or go away if these companies had to follow the law, and you wouldn't die if all of the illegal material was removed (it would still be available somewhere legally).

From the surfers' POV, I would oppose SOPA because I'd want my web wide open and with anything and everything available at any time. As such, any other view must seem like a censorship conspiracy theory perpetrated by evil men in black.

You're not doing me a favor by posting my comics or using my artwork. And you're not promoting my work (let me decide how to promote my own work, thank you). If you post my comics on the web, you are stealing from me plain and simple. Your destination is competing with MY destination (

But as a content provider, I'd like to restrict the ability for the web to violate my copyrights and trademarks. I'd like an easy mechanism to be able to punish those that violate these laws and those that essentially compete against me in providing content that I own. I'd also like to be able to kick these assholes in the nut sack.

*A possible solution could be to create a database where all copyright holders could register their properties that other companies (like Google, etc.) could easily bump up against to do the verification. If there's any question on the ownership, the content should NOT be allowed to be posted.


Blogger FJ said...

Agreed...for the most part. My $0.02:

- If Google *really* wanted to protest yesterday they would have shut down use of its search engine. Ah, but Bing wouldn't have done the same so..ya know..

- Google, I don't think, should be liable for what its *search engine* technology drags out of the woodwork, but I agree 100% on YouTube. If it's copyrighted, DO NOT REPRODUCE, plain and simple.

- Gov't regulation on these items isn't really necessary; as you've pointed out, copyright law is in place. For my part, I'm not really buying into the hype about SOPA, but I also am wary whenever I read only a few pages of any new, sweeping gov't regulation. Lots of red tape, lots of ambiguity surrounding precisely the authority we're giving our gov't to enforce things even though there are laws already in place for that, etc. Exhibit A is the Health Care Reform Act. Ever read any of that? Look toward the end when it re-imagines the entire medical & nursing fields...scary stuff, nothing I want my senators or reps voting for. But, they kinda did and without the benefit of reading the legislation first.

OK got off on a tangent on the last point; apologies.

1/19/2012 1:42 PM  
Blogger Marc Hansen said...

I agreed totally on Google's search engine results (or any search engine result). That part should be stricken from SOPA.

You forget that Google owns YouTube, which is what I was referring to (I was saying Google and meaning YouTube). Google bought YouTube because of all that glorious content, which they could smear with ads. Hah! Just wait until your Android phone starts displaying unsolicited Google ads.

The SOPA is being pushed by movie studios, record companies, book publishers, authors and other content providers. So, it's really a money battle between content providers and those who want to illegally profit from said content.

1/19/2012 2:01 PM  
Blogger Splink said...

I'm so glad you're real. I got the Ralph Snart comics when I was 16 or so and now they are in storage somewhere, where I don't have handy access to them. I've been trying to see how much some of my comics are worth and I thought the character was named "Snarf." Just "Snarf." I've been getting nothing but Thundercats results for the last 3 hours. I thought maybe I had hallucinated the whole thing. I even had a foam capsule of Ralph Snart that grew in the water. It seemed like a very detailed hallucination. I was very worried. So thanks for existing!

1/29/2012 5:17 PM  
Blogger Marc Hansen said...

Good to know; that I'm not only real, but I exist. Thanks!

1/29/2012 6:08 PM  

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