-> Huffington Postwww.washingtonpost.com/blogs/t… -> Washington Post
-> Youtube commentator, simplifying the situation.
As of very recently, I and a few of my friends collected together and wrote up troll characters for ourselves based on the webcomic Homestuck. Many of you may have heard of it, it's rather popular. We were, in fact, using said characters to write our own spinoff-style story around the premise of said comic. The author, Andrew Hussie, not only condones this behaviour, but actively encourages it. At one point, he himself said that all fan trolls, regardless of how outrageously they don't fit the boundaries of the story, could be considered canon. Facetious or not, this should go to show exactly how little it bothers him that people write these types of things. But by the new laws which SOPA is intended to pass--laws which would be almost laughable in their Draconian ridiculousness, were they not a serious issue that we are actually having to deal with--I and everyone who contributed information to said fan fiction could be treated as felons under copyright law.
This just leads me to wonder why, above all else, this is even being considered. I believe the term often used to deconstruct such situations is "Cui bono?" or, "Who benefits?". But honestly, I can't see a clear beneficiary. As such, my only reasonable assumption is that someone who isn't actually going to benefit believes that they will, and this someone, I suspect, is one of the many industries which believes itself to be crippled by the total non-issue of downloading media from the internet. Of course, then, said industry has to have some significant sway in politics, and let's be honest; there is little to no reason for large media industries to hold such power. Much of the power behind this bill is likely a result of sympathizers, and people who sympathize with the sorts who are willing to enforce this sort of law do not understand what they're talking about.
Enough politics though. Politics are what they are, and short of completely overturning our ridiculous system, there's little we can do about that. What we can do, however, is acknowledge and thwart their intent. It's quite obvious that their intent is to keep this bill under the radar; pass it quietly, slip it in overnight, satisfy whoever's lining their pockets, and then shrug blamelessly when people complain, acting like they were completely transparent about the whole thing.
The internet is a land of free sharing of information. How amusing, then, that our best means of protecting our ability to freely share said information is to exercise it. Spread this message, either copy-pasted or in your own words, across as many avenues as humanly possible. DeviantArt will of course be a very significant victim, if this is to be passed, with the high volume of fan fiction appearing on the site. However, Tumblr could easily be taken down the day that the bill passes with absolutely zero due process, Youtube would become a mess of "Sorry! This video has been taken down on etc. etc.", fanfiction.net would cease to even be a concept, and honestly? I don't trust the people in power to not completely abuse this to go after sites that don't even depend on or in any way host copyright material. This could be a crippling mess for the entire internet. Do you really want to have to tell your children that we literally had access to the most powerful network of information sharing in history, and gave it up for the sake of a little bit of pretend safety on par with a cardboard fort? Perhaps this quote has circulated just a little too much in the past, but I think it demands repeating here, for emphasis.Those who forsake liberty for security deserve neither and will lose both.
~ Benjamin Franklin
Lunatics are running the asylum, and someone has to smack them in the back of the head before they make a mess of things.