Alot of Ignorance

Yes I know it’s ‘a lot’ and ‘alot’ isn’t a word. It’s a joke.

Welcome back to my sites after a nice 12 hour outage. I went with twelve instead of twenty-four (like Wikipedia) since there’s a fine line for my technical chops, and changing that at the last minute would have been complicated. Also I said from day one I was doing 12, and I did 12.

I picked my time to have my fansite, Jorja Fox: Online (and it’s neighbors YTDaW and RizzlesCon which I webadmin only) because CSI was new on Wednesday, and the impact of not being able to talk about the new episode all day would cause some people to implode.

So what happened? We found out exactly how uneducated people are.

The magical herpderpedia has been retweeting people’s moronitude all day. It’ll make you cry with their ignorance. (By the way, if you read Wikidpedia’s page on the 18th, you’d have see what was going on and why. But apparently reading was too much for people trying to get information from Wikipedia…)

Members of Congress, many of whom are grappling with the issues posed by the explosion in new media and social web sites, appeared caught off guard by the backlash to what had been a relatively obscure piece of legislation to many of them.

That’s a quote. That is a mother freaking quote from The New York Times.

And that is a huge factor in what’s wrong here. People are making laws without understanding what they mean, who them impact, or what they do. And you, you people, are voting these idiots in, and not paying attention to what these laws mean for youRead the fine material. Educate yourself as to what’s going on, and then educate your congressmonkey.

So here’s the thing. It’s not over. Blacking out sites was not to ‘teach congress a lesson,’ at least not for me. It was to teach you. Now the majority of the ‘yous’ reading this already know what’s up and know SOPA/PIPA and their ilk are dangerous, poorly written, and a horrible idea. Then there’s the non-geeks who, up until last week, had no idea. And it’s not their fault.

See, the media did a great job not covering this. They couldn’t. Their bosses are for it! They say ‘Oh this will just stop thieves.’ and everyone says “That’s great! I don’t want my article on monkey loving to be copied!” You know, I hate plagiarism, copyright violations, and theft the same as everyone else. I’ve been ‘stolen’ from more times than I can count. I support the idea behind these bills. Stop stealing shit!

But I protest, with ever fiber of my being, the way the bills are crafted. They’re too dangerous, to powerful, and they ask me to trust a government that put the TSA in charge of my travel. The TSA hasn’t caught a single terrorist by the way. All this will do is make better criminals of us all.

When even BabyNameWizard could be shut down according to those bills, it’s a problem:

But I’m sure you can see that it’s literally impossible for us to review every comment users make on tens of thousands of pages. And even if we did, how could we be 100% certain that a user’s musings about Nicole Richie in comments on a NameCandy blog post weren’t copied from some old gossip magazine?

Yet under the terms of SOPA, if that gossip magazine were feeling protective of its Nicole Richie insights — or maybe just didn’t like another site writing about celebrity baby names — it wouldn’t just tell us to take the comment down. It could pull the plug on our whole website: we’d go black. (In theory, the target of the legislation is “foreign” websites. In theory. So fine, imagine this site’s based in the U.K., the situation is no different.)

Sounds crazy, right? Sounds like the future. No fansites, no tribute sites, no pictures of Oprah that might infringe, because none of us would take the risk of jail in order to become the next Cheezeburger. As Wired put it:

… accused sites would get little notice of a pending action in U.S. courts against them, and, once blacklisted, have little effective means of appeal.

Here we are. What do we do? We get up and do our civic duty. We tell our government “You work for ME, not the corporations. You represent ME, not the lobbyists. You get some technical people in to explain to you how the Sturdy Tubes of the Internet really work, why this will stifle creativity, kneecap our economy, and punish the wrong people. Don’t let Hollywood decide what the laws are. After all, these people thought that we needed a sequel to ‘Alvin & The Chipmunks’ and that we need a movie based on the board game ‘Battleship.’ Come on, they made ‘RoboCop 3,’ for crying out loud!”

How about I put it another way. This is what The Pirate Bay said:

“Over a century ago Thomas Edison got the patent for a device which would “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear”. He called it the Kinetoscope. He was not only amongst the first to record video, he was also the first person to own the copyright to a motion picture.

Because of Edison’s patents it was close to financially impossible to create motion pictures in the North American East Coast. The movie studios therefore relocated to California, and founded what we today call Hollywood. The reason was mostly because there were no patents. There was also no copyright to speak of, so the studios could copy old stories and make movies out of them – like Fantasia, one of Disney’s biggest hits ever.

So, the whole basis of this industry, that today is screaming about losing control over immaterial rights, is that they circumvented immaterial rights. They copied (or put in their terminology: “stole”) other people’s creative works, without paying for them. They did it in order to make a huge profit. Today, they’re all successful and most of the studios are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest companies in the world. Congratulations – it’s all based on being able to re-use other people’s creative works. And today they hold the rights to what other people create. If you want to get something released, you have to abide by their rules. The ones they created after circumventing other people’s rules.”

This needs to stop. And you can help:

Email Congress

Call Congress

International Action