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SOPA MUST DIE Sat, 17 Dec 2011 21:45:45 +0000

If there is one big thing about the SOPA bill currently being discussed, in Congress and pretty much everywhere else as well, it is that almost nobody in Congress understands a damn thing about the Internet; or even how everday businesses function. A bunch of engineers and FOSS/IP lawyers writing up an open letter, discussing freedom and rights, may not be the best way to get the attention of a Congress who are obviously so willing to put such things aside, for the benefit of their corporate lobbies. People like Rep. John Flemming, may not quite understand such vague concepts as freedom, and rights. So, I thought maybe I could help people out when trying to tell their Congressmen to vote against SOPA/PIPA bills, by providing an analogy they might understand. One that is based on money, and classic businesses.

So, if you want to know why SOPA/PIPA are bad, here is why. Imagine for a moment, that you own a business; one which provides people with tasty sub sandwiches. Now imagine that you have 30 million customers, and serve up to 20,000 of them every day. Your business is unique, and flourishing, because you also have a feature which allows customers to create their own sandwiches, and share the recipes with everyone else. About 60% of your customers, all peruse this feature, and their custom recipes get posted into the electronic menu system at your shop. Now, imagine that a competing store, has a special recipe, which they pride themselves on. Several of your customers posted this same recipe to your menu system, with slight alterations, to fit their own tastes. The competing store finds out, but says nothing to you, or the customers who posted the altered recipes. Instead, they report that your store is violating their Copyright on the recipe, to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice issues a court order to the city, to remove the road which is allowing all of your customers, to reach your store. You wake up the next day, to go and open your store, but the road is gone, and you can no longer get to it. Nor can any of your 30 million customers. Any money you would make from having that store, is gone. You can't really move it to any other location, anywhere in the United States, as you have been put on a blacklist, and no cities are allowed to have roads leading to your store. You can move out of country, but all your customers would have to travel much further to get to your store. You will no longer make any money from having that store.

Do you really want anyone to be able to shut down your entire business, without any warning, whatsoever? I doubt it. This is exactly what SOPA/PIPA would be like for businesses, of any size, on the Internet. We must not allow this completely idiotic set of bills to pass. They are a complete and utter violation of the Constitution of These United States of America.

Tell your Representative, and Senator, to throw this garbage in the trash, where it belongs.




Ninja Monkey icon based on face-monkey icon from The Tango Project