99GetSmart.com will shut down on January 18 for 24 hours to protest the proposed SOPA/PIPA legislation. SOLIDARITY!
For more information re: SOPA/PIPA:
The Definitive Post on Why SOPA and PROTECT IP Are Bad, Bad Ideas
By Mike Masnick, TechDirt
There’s been plenty of talk (and a ton of posts here on Techdirt) discussing both SOPA (originally E-PARASITE) and PROTECT IP (aka PIPA), but it seemed like it would be useful to create a single, “definitive” post to highlight why both of these bills are extremely problematic and won’t do much (if anything) to deal with the issues they’re supposed to deal with, but will have massive unintended consequences. I also think it’s important to highlight how PIPA is almost as bad as SOPA. Tragically, because SOPA was so bad, some in the entertainment industry have seen it as an opportunity to present PIPA as a “compromise.” It is not. Both bills have tremendous problems, and they start with the fact that neither bill will help deal with the actual issues being raised.
That main issue, we’re told over and over again, is “piracy” and specifically “rogue” websites. And, let’s be clear: infringement is a problem. But the question is what kind of problem is it? Much of the evidence suggests that it’s not an enforcement problem and it’s not a legal problem. Decades of evidence from around the globe all show the same thing: making copyright law or enforcement stricter does not work. It does not decrease infringement at all — and, quite frequently, leads to more infringement. That’s because the reason that there’s infringement in the first place is that consumers are being under-served. Historically, infringement has never been about “free,” but about indicating where the business models have not kept up with the technology.
Thus, the real issue is that this is a business model problem. As we’ve seen over and over and over again, those who embrace what the internet enables, have found themselves to be much better off than they were before. They’re able to build up larger fanbases, and to rely on various new platforms and services to make more money. […]