SOPA: The Car Analogy

Imagine that a group of people who don’t drive much, don’t understand how cars work under the hood, and have never studied traffic engineering decide that they’re going to stop speeding by requiring that cars automatically slam on the emergency brake and lock the controls the moment they exceed the speed limit – or the moment someone reports that the car has exceeded the speed limit.

Note that I didn’t say anything about turning the engine off, or putting it in neutral. Or only doing so in places where the speed limit is properly posted. Or worrying about whether there’s a car behind them that will have to slam on their own breaks to prevent a pile-up. Or actually checking that the car really is speeding before acting on the report.

Now imagine that criticisms and objections raised by actual drivers, the auto industry, traffic engineers, highway planners, and city planners are all dismissed as speeder propaganda.

That’s basically what’s going on with the “anti-piracy” bills being discussed in the House (SOPA) and Senate (PIPA/Protect IP).

Cross-Posted on K2R

Problems with SOPA

“if you’re not breaking the law, you have nothing to fear from SOPA.”


Feds Falsely Censor Popular Blog For Over A Year, Deny All Due Process, Hide All Details…

And this is under the current law, without the additional tools SOPA provides.

Also, check out CloudFlare’s article about how they already have to deal with people sending bogus DMCA complaints in order to get the data needed to launch DDoS attacks. With SOPA, why bother to launch the DDoS, when you can get the law to do your dirty work for you?

Even the pro-copyright-enforcement Heritage Foundation warns about unintended consequences of the law. It doesn’t matter if the law is only intended to go after rogue sites if it’s written in a way that applies to legit sites as well, and it doesn’t matter who’s targeted if the solutions imposed result in major collateral damage.

Consider also that the “techno-elite” you’re referring to are the people and companies who built and run the Internet, and includes companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Mozilla, PayPal and Wikipedia. Not just their users, but the companies. It seems they might know something about how it works, and how this law would affect it.

“I just don’t see opposing intellectual property protection as doing the right thing.”

Again, you’re falling into that second trap, where “something must be done” implies “this thing must be done.” There are other ways to protect IP than by passing SOPA or Protect IP in its current form.

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More on the problems with the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” which won’t stop piracy

More on the problems with the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” which won't stop piracy but will make it easy to censor the internet.

SOPA: Why the ‘broken web’ should stay broken

The web may not be perfect, but SOPA is a reactionary bill to a broken copyright system. One thought alone: The ‘broken web’ is ironically what makes it work.

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