Greed is good. Piracy is good. A SOPA Solution.
Quite frankly, SOPA supporters, you need to be way more greedy. Shame on you for not taking more. I am sure Gordan Gecko would be insulted by your behavior, come on, get your head in the game. And when I say SOPA supporter, what I really mean is a business that produces something they want to protect and sell; just like any entrepreneur. So get greedy already, but before you do look around for a second and consider where you’re at. Clearly we’re in a turning point of history, the internet is making that obvious with its ability to equalize power relations between citizens and governments. Note: the internet is destabilizing governments, you know, that thing that protects businesses. Second, there is a movement against “greed” in your home turf, “Occupy…” It’s winter right now and you can try and let it falter and dissipate as they foolishly started so close to the cold weather, in fact that’s what you should be doing. And if that’s what you want then you want to avoid fueling it with nonsense like SOPA. The internet can be a friend or an enemy, inherently it’s neutral, as the environment dictates the response. If you fight it, it will fight back; if you embrace it, it will embrace you. So STOP thinking protectively and fighting it, and for god’s sake do not support legislation that hurts the internet. Unless you’re masochistic, then whatever.
Greed is a word we use in a derogatory manner to dehumanize businesses and corporations. At their core their goal is to make money, true. And many businesses jumped in bed with SOPA without really looking at the full picture because it sounded like protection for their ability to make money. The internet can be viewed as chaos where piracy reigns supreme and there is no safety – hide your women and children, it’s the Internet! It’s totally feasible to see things that way. But, with more knowledge it’s perhaps more reasonable to see things other ways too.
Another way of looking at the piracy on the internet is proclaiming it as the best thing that can happen to you. Companies spend millions of dollars on market research. Online piracy is a medium that will freely count the demand for their products and create good will because it’s free; something they want to censor and block, they’re very clever you see. Instead they should embrace it and look at the piracy as a metric, a really good one too. Or, for the bold, try and convert the pirates into customers. Piracy tells you there is demand for your product, and honestly, it seems like your fault for not capitalizing on that opportunity.
In place of taking advantage of piracy and turning to your advantage, the question you’ve been asking is how do we fight it? If the internet were mature, a place it certainly is not, I would suggest litigation; it would work in a stable environment where effects are clear. If, however, the internet was infant, which it undoubtedly is, I would avoid protective litigation at all costs and instead focus on the infancy of the beast and try to tame it.
When we look at the internet as an opportunity it quickly becomes clear that content producers should capitalize on it as fast as possible. Protective litigation at this stage is fully the wrong tactic to pursue. The proper course of action is the opposite. You want all barriers on the internet reduced so you can try to tame it. Protection at this stage is a huge miscalculation, now is the time to be bold and greedier than ever. If these businesses are interested in making money the correct path is not protection, instead the business should focus on finding ways to increase the value of their content and sell more of it, the demand is there. So be greedy and tame the internet.
To the agitators, to us: It is our job to continue creating and developing the web; that is our charge. If we can produce a large product base of apps and sites for the web where content is easily accessible and reasonably priced we will start to unite the internet with the rest of the world. If they don’t want to give us their content then we can continue making our own. If they give us their content we can help them promote it. We are young along with the internet and it is our responsibility to grow and develop together. The world of possibility is hidden by the thin veil of the internet.