I read yet another anti-CISPA piece today. I’m not comfortable trying to read it and decide whether it’s a good or bad piece of legislation, but I do understand the problem it’s trying to solve.
Those who have tried to paint CISPA as the new SOPA or PIPA are misunderstanding the problem CISPA is trying to solve. CISPA isn’t supposed to be about stopping the scourge of teenaged boys using the Internet to copy music and movies. It’s actually chasing something nefarious.
Let me give you an example.
Fightforthefuture.org declared victory yesterday, saying that SOPA and PIPA have been dropped. Their e-mail said some other important and interesting things, but most importantly, it made some references to China. Communist China. Totalitarian Communist China.
The distinction is important.
Today, the Web protested SOPA and PIPA in various ways. And though momentum seemed to start shifting as long as a week ago, the protest went on, and some Washington politicians started changing sides, suggesting that maybe, just maybe, sometimes representative government can’t be bought.
I even saw a quote somewhere–I wish I’d written down where–that attributed one side-changer as saying it’s more important to get this legislation done right than to get it done fast. Read more
If you don’t know what SOPA and PIPA are, I urge you to visit this site. SOPA and PIPA, among other things, completely undermine the idea of due process, without which we might as well still be constituents of King George III.
If we want a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, SOPA and PIPA have to be stopped. If we want a government of the corporations, for the corporations, by the corporations, SOPA and PIPA are a tremendous jump in that direction.
Write your congressmen. You can do it from the site linked above. If you have certifications, sign off with them. Any little extra bit of weight you can throw behind your argument helps.
Copyrights can be useful things, but SOPA and PIPA have too many unintended consequences. It’s like treating an illness with hemlock. It’ll cure the illness, but there’s this one side effect that’s a doozy.