"As in all things, some compromise must be possible."
I've believed for quite some time that SOPA itself was never really seriously thought to be passable by anyone. Rather just an extreme first salvo to make the next set of oppressive measures seem like a reasonable compromise in comparison.
I think the only right way to do it is in reverse... start with a list of idealized demands from a citizen/consumer point of view, then let industry push back on the really egregious items until an actual compromise has been reached.
Shame the law will probably have passed by the time they make a new season.
Allegedly from the South Park Studios FAQ: (http://www.idealog.us/2006/10/matt_and_trey_w.html):
> Matt and Trey do not mind when fans download their episodes off the Internet; they feel that it’s good when people watch the show no matter how they do it.
They would probably have some point like "these laws are bad , but if you don't want people trying to pass them then you should stop pirating stuff"
Too bad it sounds like there's no actual proof that he's talking about SOPA/PIPA, although it would be pretty hard to argue otherwise. If true would Gore be the most notable politician to come out against these acts? (As much as some of us might wish otherwise, it's not all that notable for Ron Paul to come out against it.)
(entire list at http://sopaopera.org)
I'd also argue that Sen. Rand Paul is more prominent than Ron Paul because he's a Senator...at least in terms of real influence. He's 1 out of 100 votes; a filibuster of the Senate variant of SOPA needs 40 votes.
Point being I think many artist are open(ish) about sharing music (for example). It does seem things like SOPA come from far larger groups like the RIAA.
Is SOPA really a war between creative people and analytical people?
Why should anyone support that regardless of what sort of pretext is used to justify such an abuse of power? Should we round up all single adult males over the age of 40 out of a fear of pedophilia in order to "protect the children"?
(My favourite example is that America hasn't had a constitutionally-authorized war since World War II. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_war_by_the_Unit...)
If it does, then SOPA would be subject to those limitations as much as any printing press law would (the example to which I was responding).
If it doesn't, then why does SOPA matter at all? The government could just shut down websites left and right tomorrow regardless of what the law says.
It's not uncommon for a law to be passed that is unconstitutional.
For example, the government might get away with indefinitely detaining a few people without trial; but they might still forbear to arbitrarily detain more than a few percent of the populace for fear of popular revolt.
It took nearly a century for the 14th Amendment to achieve the full force of law everywhere in the US.
We should not be the least bit blase about allowing unconstitutional laws to be passed, as though they would be null and void upon passing.
There are numerous examples of "creative people" making good money out of their work on the internet, without worrying about piracy too much.
Just think about this, your revenue as an iOS dev could be culled because someone in the app store ecosystem infringed. How is that a good way to combat piracy? The pirates are going to pirate no matter what road block you set up.
There would be a serious uproar if that happened, people wouldn't stand for it.
More likely is that some pirate sites will die and others will just go deeper underground. The people who are likely to be scared into shutting up shop all together will be smaller distributors of independent or amateur content.
I would be saddened if the Internet became like the high street circa 1996 with a few large companies and producers setting the agenda for what we will watch and listen to.
The attitude of "yes this law applies to the app store but it will never BE applied to the app store" is basically an exercise in double-think, and in my view is morally suspect.
What is the criteria then for who the law SHOULD be applied to? People the RIAA don't like? People legitimately disrupting established industries? People competing commercially with the friends of senators? The whole point of the rule of law is to prevent arbitrary exercise of discretion. The law either applies equally to everyone or applies to no-one.
That's exactly what we have to worry about, and exactly what old-school content providers have been fighting for ever since the Internet was created.
We use YouTube and the App Store as examples that appeal to the common person's awareness of the Internet, but we have to be far more concerned about the effects of SOPA/PIPA/etc. on the next YouTube.
Viacom was essentially trying to drive YouTube into bankruptcy with its lawsuit against them. Granted, they lost.
Right now, someone files a notice, and Justin.tv says "oh crap! Lets take that down." and they do and everyone is happy.
In the future, someone might file a notice, and then Justin Kan shows up at work one day and finds that his entire business has been taken offline by the government.
Those two are so well known and have so many lawyers at the ready they would be safe.
But, there are plenty of smaller, legitimate services and sites that would be shut down because of SOPA.
And even if that were true, it's not automatically a good thing. iOS developers might end up better off through eating into consumer surplus, rather than creating more aggregate value.
Without SOPA: Let's pretend that there is an innovative site that is going to be made in a few years that allows people to submit things to it and sell. This site gives some creative person a chance to make a full living. (this is actually happening now in many places)
With SOPA: Two options: Site either does not get created at all because of fear of creating sites that might cross SOPA at some point or this site gets taken fully off the internet because some other user on it posted some sort of infringing material for an indefinite period of time. in either case the creative person is out of luck with respect to making a living from their creative work.
 Could be that the website owner polices their site effectively, or maybe they grease enough palms to keep their site. The reason doesn't matter. The point is, there are other possible outcomes.
None of which are good. Either the site is taken down, an onerous burden is placed on the site owner to do the copyright owners' job of policing content, or yet another arbitrarily enforced law sits on the books, waiting for some enterprising media exec or prosecutor to contort it around their case of the day.
The content producers need to make lawful content delivery a better experience than pirating things. I love steam because it makes things much easier to download, install and keep up to date. It's a better experience all around.
I am all for taking down websites that are gross offenders but this legislation is like cutting off your foot because you stubbed your toe.
But I am not sure enforcement measures against piracy would actually help "creative people" much if at all. Cory Doctorow is a prime example who makes his work freely available but makes his living through his creative work. Perfect enforcement of copyright wouldn't have virtually no impact on his situation.
Obviously, that is just one anecdote. But we can see every single person making their living off of creative work as a counter-example right now as a counter-point since Piracy is currently rampant and while there is enforcement it is minimal compared to the emount of piracy that happens.
Plus there's a certain amount of inevitable piracy. But mostly it's the bought-out politicians who are just trying/lying too hard.
Eliminating our civil liberties will not strengthen copyright enforcement. Nor is strengthening protections of intellectual property a sufficient excuse for such.