Today, it was breathtaking to see tech giants like Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and Boing Boing black out their site in protest over SOPA/PIPA. Silicon Valley and Hollywood haven’t had much occasion to clash, but it’s now obvious that when they do, the results are far-reaching and devastating. Jonathan Wiseman and Jenna Wortham at the NYTimes have decent summaries of the different interests at play in this unprecedented online protest (Also, for funsies, check out this cool visualization of SOPA chatter on Twitter).
What infuriates me through all of this is not the near-reality of the bill itself (that’s more depressing than anything else). No, what really grinds my gears is the MPAA’s response to this entire ordeal. Dan Seitz has the only appropriate response to this abomination: a scathing takedown of everything the MPAA had to say:
What the MPAA wants to do is stop private citizens from ripping their DVDs and sharing those copies for free on the Internet, and they already have laws on the books making owning the tools to break DVD encryption illegal. But since suing individual citizens in court hasn’t worked, now they want to shut off websites at will.
In other words, MPAA, you are exploiting actual human suffering to acquire tools you don’t need to solve a problem you don’t have. And now you’re whining that other people are informing the American people of what you’re trying to do. How in God’s name do you sleep at night? Do you even understand how sickening that is to a normal human being?