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[personal profile] phenylic
disclaimer! this is a super emotion-fueled post

So the Stop Online Piracy Act has been causing much disruption all over my social networking feeds (except LJ so far, thank god). To quote OpenCongress (emphasis mine): 
  • This bill would establish a system for taking down websites that the Justice Department determines to be dedicated to copyright infringment. The DoJ or the copyright owner would be able to commence a legal action against any site they deem to have "only limited purpose or use other than infringement," and the DoJ would be allowed to demand that search engines, social networking sites and domain name services block access to the targeted site. It would also make unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted content a felony with a possible penalty up to five years in prison. 
Um, to be honest, I thought that was already a felony, but the actual bill isn't the point of the post. It's the reactions that I've seen. Specifically, this one Tumblr post. Even more specifically, this part (emphasis mine):
  • It’s essentially going to make the US as bad as Communist China in terms of Internet censorship. I’m not. Fucking. Kidding. They will literally have the power to block any site from being visited by any US user. They’re going to systematically destroy basically every freedom we have, to protect the entertainment industry’s profits. They’re getting away with it because they’re sneaky and no one is freaking out about it and the mainstream media is hiding it.
So here is the actual point of this post: everybody has buzzwords/phrases and "as bad as Communist China/Soviet Russia" is mine. For me, it falls under the same category as "as bad as Nazi Germany," "as bad as Darfur," "as bad as 'Arab Spring,'" in that it's such an exaggeration and presents a general disregard for the rights that we, as American citizens, are given. When the Declaration of Independence is burned, when the Library of Congress and every artifact of historical, cultural, or national significance are destroyed, when the President tries to take a Great Leap Forward, that's when I'll say we've become as bad as communist China. 

I don't support this act. I think it's poorly written, just like Mississippi's Amendment 26, but I fail to see how this makes the U.S. as bad as communist China or equivalent to the lockdown that happened in Egypt. I fail to see how being without internet is like being in a third-world country. I fail to see why just because you can say stuff like this means that you should. In my opinion, you shouldn't ever make these analogies unless you've actually lived through it and experienced it for yourself because I'm pretty sure you've never seen anything like it. 

p.s. they're protecting the entertainment industry's profits because the companies invested millions into their products. Maybe you've heard of these things called production costs?? and BUDGETS? where do you think the money came from? If you invested tens/hundreds of millions into something, I'm pretty sure you'd like to make some profit off it, too, and I think you'd be pretty annoyed if you found out that people were illegally getting it for free. I get that as fandom, we tend to generally disregard this whole thing because of financial/situational issues and we spread fandom love through what is essentially piracy, but the fact remains that it is still piracy and therefore, illegal, and nothing novel, but whatever right? The government is trying to cut down on illegal sharing! IT'S COMMUNIST REVOLUTION. /sarcasm.
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