It was a day of protest across the internet yesterday. All the major players came out in force: Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, and others went dark to oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Our readers come first, so we continued to provide our usual amount of content; but that doesn't mean we haven't had an opinion about what's been going on around us. With this in mind, as editor-in-chief, I wanted to publish our thoughts and New Rising Media's stance when it comes to SOPA.
We've always promoted the sharing of our content, if credited: the copying, distribution and transmission of our content, along with the 'remixing' of our work. It breeds extra insight beyond what we have gathered, and is why instead of creating a lavishly worded set of terms and conditions, we've put all of our work under the Creative Commons license.
As for SOPA, while much of our content is original, we feel it is a danger to the functionality of the internet: a far too generally worded document that consumes forms of sharing that are beneficial to the entertainment industry they are trying to save, and a pointless entity in the forms of punishment for disobedience that won't actually stop piracy.
This is not the way to protect our work; but it's also time for us to reassess copyright. It's an out-of-date law that doesn't take into account the participatory nature of web 2.0 and is out of touch with the wants and needs of the people. SOPA is very much a continuation within the same vein, rather than an complete re-work of the formula, which is why it already feels like an obselete way of thinking before it even goes for a vote.
So, if all of that didn't make it clear enough: New Rising Media is against SOPA. In it's current state, the vagueness of the language makes it impossible to predict where the metaphorical 'roof' of it's jurisdiction is, meaning the sky is the limit. We, and our right to actively participate in an open community shouldn't be retracted in the face of government-crafted laws to save the entertainment industry. This is a time not just for protest; but engagement. This should be the point of interjection, when the outdated laws with which SOPA was built on are addressed by we in the community.
It's broken, and we need to rebuild. Putting another law on top of it won't do anything.
Thank you for reading.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.