The New York Times' David Pogue wrote a piece this week on the SOPA and PIPA legislation. His claim is that those opposed used scare tactics and that the bills wouldn't cause that much harm to the overall public. Here's that story, Put Down the Pitchforks on SOPA.
Pogue makes some good points but he's missing the big picture. This legislation could have dire effects on creativity and make it nearly impossible for the independent artist to get his or her art to the public. The ability to simply share content could be in jeopardy. Here's what Bob Lefsetz posed, "You might be unable to do this (share content) under SOPA. For fear that you might be sharing copyrighted material, your ability to share at all could be crippled, because it would cost too much for the linking service to determine whether it's legal to share the content or not."
That could be disastrous for amateur artists. They would be unable to get their work to the public. That's just what the supporters of these bills want. They want control. They want to tell you what to watch, what to listen to, and what to read.
Here's an excellent insight into what the ramifications could be if SOPA and PIPA pass from Clay Shirky.
The good news is that after the online protest on Wednesday the tide seems to be turning. Congressmen and Senators seem to get it and many have changed their position. But that's what's really scary, not only for these bills but for anything on the hill. Lobbyists and influence peddlers have our ill-informed representatives in their pockets.