John McCoy had something to say about trademarks over on his blog, Pathetic Fallacy. I’ll pull just a little bit out here because it really sums up the problems with many laws protecting IP in the USA right now.
The problems with this line of thought are: 1) it treats people like idiots and 2) it’s a protection of the interests of the powerful against the interests of the weak, which would seem to be an inversion of the goals of trademark.
Substitute “patents” or “copyright” for “trademark” and I think it still holds true. I would like that to change.
If you haven’t been paying attention to SOPA or PIPA then I recommend you do some reading up on the issues themselves. I recommend the following links:
There is a ton more out there, so make yourself knowledgable … and by doing so more knowledgeable than most of Congress as well.
I’m completely and totally against SOPA/PIPA and anything like it for a number of reasons, but for me it boils down to these few:
- The internet is an international network and these pieces of legislation give the USA more power over it
- It denies the realities that we live in a different time period with different technologies than the 20th century
- It gives the government more power
- It gives corporations (mainly, media corporations, but really any) more power
- It moves us another step (or four) closer to the sorts of restrictions the governments of Iran, China, etc. impose on their citizens
You can get into the technical details of why it is bad for the internet and why it won’t, ultimately, do anything to stop piracy, but those five reasons are why I am philosophically opposed to any legislation like SOPA/PIPA.
Please, contact your members of congress today and let them know that you want them to oppose these specific pieces of legislation and any future pieces that are like it.
Check out SOPA Track to find out who your Representatives and Senators are along with where their funding has come from and let them know what you think.
I’m usually not a huge fan of the New York Times, but head on over and read about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments at the Hague about stifling online voices.
When the administration she is currently working for is seizing domains and receiving rebukes from the EU about the practice you would think she would be speaking in the opposite way. Then you have the administration staying fairly silent on SOPA and PROTECT IP.
While they stay silent, Democratic Senators Klobachar and Franken (both, sadly, of Minnesota) are backing and co-sponsoring that same PROTECT IP legislation.
I hold out hope that the people of the USA wake up to the mass hypocrisy going on at all levels of government right now. It is one massive “do as I say and not as I do” farce being perpetrated on all levels.