megpie71
megpie71
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Back January 18th, 2012 Forward
Some thoughts on SOPA and PIPA from a non-US citizen

Firstly, may I say congratulations to the USAlien Media and Entertainment sector for creating one of the biggest showings of unity I've seen online in nigh twelve years of using the internet. Couldn't have done it without you guys, although I'm sure you're hating to see it happen.

Secondly: a word of warning to the USAlien Media and Entertainment sector, as well as to Mr Murdoch's News Corporation and any other group who thinks these acts are Good Things overall. Should they go through, SOPA and PIPA aren't going to reduce the amount of copyright piracy occurring online by one tittle or jot. Yes, they may black out sections of the web, temporarily. But the pirates aren't going to let that stop them - they get their jollies from working around things like this in the first fscking place.

I foresee a certain amount of revival for a few of the older internet communications protocols - newsgroups may see something of a resurgence, along with mailing lists, and other forms of communication which aren't hosted by a single site, but which rather exist as an amorphous entity of ever-changing data being passed around from host to host, like the prize in a gigantic online game of pass-the-parcel. Good luck dealing with those, guys; I seem to remember that the thing which eventually took down a lot of the alt.binaries newsgroups wasn't any effort from the MPAA and the RIAA, but rather that web hosting was cheap, readily available, and distributed file sharing networks could handle things without too much strain.

But hey, guys, feel free to try and take down global email using lawyers if you really fancy re-running the labours of Heracles. Try killing NNTP. Have fun. It'll keep you all busy for a bit.

As has been said repeatedly: the internet as a whole, as an emergent entity, interprets censorship of just about any kind as damage, and figures out ways to route around it.

Thirdly: even if the USAlien Media and Entertainment sector should get their will, and kill the internet deader than a dead thing in a graveyard, I still won't be connecting my television up to the aerial or purchasing a Foxtel subscription. I still won't be turning on the radio to anything other than the ABC. I still won't be going to the movies. I still won't be buying any Australian newspapers on a regular basis. I still won't be getting magazines from Australian Consolidated Press or the News Corporation stables. And I won't be spending any money on those things for the same damn reason I don't spend money on them now: I refuse to let my money go where I'm not welcome. The news and entertainment sector here in Australia doesn't want to cater to me as a viewer, listener or reader, they just want to sell me as a potential set of eyeballs to advertisers. As a person, I'm not welcome in their world.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/24751.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

location: Outside the USA
Current Mood: irritated irritated
Reflections on the Internet blackout

News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch meanwhile accused the "blogosphere" of "terrorising many senators and congressmen who previously committed" to support the US legislation. - from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-18/wikipedia-goes-offline-to-protest-us-piracy-laws/3781382

Oh gods. How terrifying! How anarchic! How frightening!

Voters actually asking that duly elected representatives represent their constituents and listen to the opinions of said constituents rather than obeying their corporate masters without question!

The End Of The World (According To Rupert) Is Nigh.

Why, anyone would think the USA was a representative democracy, rather than a corporate oligarchy. And we all know that isn't the case...

More seriously and less sarcastically, I'd argue that anything Mr Murdoch publicly supports as a Good Idea these days is probably the option which is more likely to reduce the general public's freedom of speech and expression and increase the gatekeeping role of his family's media empire. News Corporation makes most of its money through being a media gatekeeper, through deciding who gets to be heard publicly, deciding which topics are "serious" and which aren't, and selling more and more advertising space surrounding the scant speech they're permitting through the gates these days. To Mr Murdoch's family corporation, I'm nothing more than a set of eyeballs, a bundle of demographic information (the most important piece of which is "how much discretionary income do I control?") and a wallet to be raided.

Unfortunately for Mr Murdoch and News Corporation, I tend to think of myself as a person, with opinions, tastes, preferences, and values, and as a being with more intrinsic worth than just my demographics and my income. I gave up on their products years ago, when I realised I wasn't going to find anything I considered interesting amongst them. I switched off the television, I stopped buying newspapers, I stopped listening to the radio, I stopped going to the movies, I stopped buying mass market magazines (my preferences are found more in the special interest areas these days) and I stopped attempting to participate in "popular" culture. Which means I've pretty much removed myself from their ambit.

I don't depend on News Corporation or Fox for my entertainment needs. I don't need to wait for the latest thing from Hollywood. I'm not hanging out to hear the latest "celebrity" gossip. I haven't spent money on new music CDs in months (and the last ones I bought were a couple of cheapish compilations from the service station nearest the university I attend). I'm choosy about my books and my magazine purchases. And I can afford all of this because I have the internet to supply a lot of the needs I have for text related materials, for entertainment, for news and for opinion fodder - and not much of what I'm reading online is curated and gatekept in the way Mr Murdoch would prefer.

I get my news via RSS feeds from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Pressenza, and Human Wrongs Watch. I get my community information via RSS from Shakesville, Hoyden About Town, Making Light, and a few other blogs I like. I don't use Facebook, or Google Plus; I've never seen the point of "web portals" when the bookmarks bar in Firefox works just fine, and my Twitter account is used very rarely. I blog on Dreamwidth (because they allow me to crosspost to my InsaneJournal, and they don't regard me as a source of content to use to sell advertising space - something which is positively refreshing these days).

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/24971.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Back January 18th, 2012 Forward