The SOPA issue has drawn huge numbers of comments, not only here, but across the Internet. One of those comments, from regular reader John Bent, lays out a solution to this Gordian Knot quandary.
See if you agree:
Re: A better SOPA: Create Silicon Valley jobs in Hollywood, give Washington the boot.
Following the outpourings of outrage against government censorship of the web, it’s good to see someone suggesting positive ways to combat online piracy. This issue, which is (allegedly) what started the whole thing off, still needs to be addressed.
A good start, IMHO, would be for the copyright laws to be amended so that I, and others like me, are not branded criminals for making copies of material I have paid for, for my own use. This would go a long way to removing the excuse for piracy, that the big players are trying to rip off the poor consumer.
I am firmly of the opinion, that there is no valid excuse for downloading and using copyright material without paying for it.
Another way of reducing the likelihood of this is for publishers to make available, more in the way of “trial”, “lite”, or “time-limited” versions of their products. This would help to prevent people using the excuse that they are pirating copies so that they can “try it out before paying”.
I am extremely cynical about people’s honesty when they make this claim, and providing trial versions would remove that excuse. Yes, it may have a cost implication – but so does piracy.
After the SOPA debacle, perhaps governments will understand that the copyright laws need to be brought into first the 20th and then the 21st century. Then there will be a much clearer view of who the real offenders are. I’m afraid I’m not holding my breath though.
John Bent is a UK based “super user” and, a long time reader here. John’s well considered comments always advance the conversation. Thank you John.