I feel artists are more vulnerable than most to the dark side of the internet. Art work is stolen and reproduced without permission, and money is made off the artist’s hard work, sometimes without them ever knowing.
Piracy is bad. There is no argument there. SOPA and PIPA are not the answer. They have far reaching ramifications that should not be allowed to happen. Deviant Art lays it out pretty well with the following:
“In both proposals, if they became law, the government of the United States would determine on application if a website was primarily engaged in unlicensed distribution. A court might hold a hearing but only if the people who run the website showed up. Otherwise, the site would be blocked by an order directing all websites in the United States with search capabilities or links to refuse to resolve any results or clicks to the blocked address.
“Blocking addresses is hard to do without damaging every address on the Internet. The blocking methods suggested in these two proposals would completely confuse existing Internet functions. They would encourage multiple hacks to get around the blocks (and the proposals, it turns out, would be ineffective against very simple work-arounds). Maybe a few copyrights get saved but the price is opening massive wormholes in the Internet permitting hackers to re-direct traffic all over the place — to malware, spyware, and phishing operations.” (deviantart.com)
This also opens the big debate of who decides what these infringes of copyrights are. Where is the line drawn? Is a screen shot from a movie piracy? What about rifftracks or “how it should have ended?” Is fan art and fanfiction a violation? What if some one decides your original character looks a little too much like copyrighted material? It’s a dangerous, scary road.
Please, take the time to contact your senators and representatives. Let them know that censorship is not the way to go.
Wikipedia has a wonderful setup for you to let your government officials know. Check out the link. Be heard.
Also, I think the Oatmeal has a wonderful gif on the subject.
For those who need a little more info on subject, there is a summary and great discussion going on over at deviantArt.