If SOPA and PROTECT-IP had happened 15 years ago, we wouldn’t have sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. We wouldn’t have services like Wordpress, or any other blogging platform. What’d be the point in blogging when your entire site could be taken down because of one comment you didn’t even write yourself? Smartphones and tablets probably wouldn’t have happened, because what’s the point in having all sorts of fun apps when the site could be taken down due to an app that some company thought infringed their IP? Open source probably wouldn’t be the amazing driving force it is today, and goodly portion of software out there today ( including games ) wouldn’t exist.
I wouldn’t have the amazing job I do today. I’d still be working in retail or at a warehouse. I wouldn’t have some of the friends I do now, because I never would have met them. The internet is amazing and wonderful and has unlimited potential. That scares some people, because they don’t know how to use that potential to further their own ends. So they’re trying to censor it, shut it down, rip it apart. Corporations still think that they can legislate pirates out of existence Laws like this only hurt people who don’t pirate. To stop pirates, you have to offer a better service than they do. If you don’t want people downloading your videos via torrents, offer paid downloads on your site, put your film or TV show on Netflix & Hulu & ITunes & the Android Market – don’t try to shut down torrent sites.
SOPA and PROTECT-IP terrify me, and they should scare you too. I hope that neither of them gets passed, and that the US government wakes up and realizes that passing legislation on things they don’t understand will only cause their economy to tank even more.
If you live in the US, please ( please please please please ) contact your representatives, tell them you don’t want these bills passed. If you live outside the states, contact your friends who do live in the states, and push them to contact their representatives.