As a filmmaker, I’m a content creator. I’m an “artist.” I want to be able to make a living doing creative work and I do want to be paid for work I do. But I do not support copyright law as it is today. I do not support the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and I do not support the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The reason is simple. I am a practical person. If something is essentially unenforceable then there is a problem with it as a solution. If to be enforceable, the law needs to shut down free speech, security and the general mechanics of unrelated businesses, I don’t think it spells pragmatic.
I would like innovators to come up with a way for creative people to make more money from their work. I do not care all that much if giant conglomerates suffer in the meantime. They should not be permitted to force even more corporate welfare down our throats in the form of legislation that benefits a very narrow group of powerful companies. They have fed someone the line that their protection benefits artists, when that is almost never the case. The vast majority of artists benefit far more from innovative sites like Etsy or Vimeo whose very existence is threatened by this type of legislation.
I have been worried about various threats to innovation on the internet, for example in the broadband monopoly in the US. But that nearly every internet company has come out against this type of legislation has not been able to stop the force of the MPAA and their lobbyists. Even a bipartisan effort in the Judiciary Committee seems to be yielding little return.
I saw a tweet yesterday that said “If SOPA passes, I’m moving to Canada.” It does sound tempting, but if SOPA passes, the internet will be affected everywhere. The U.S. is still leading the way in web innovation. But if you make obvious activity illegal, we’ll all be criminals.