SOPA, Creativity, You and I

Thursday, January 19, 2012

With the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and the protests that followed it, I think our collective minds are thinking of issues around piracy and and just plain copying. And how much to protect the artists who create it and then the companies involved in turning it into a 'property' and thereby trying to strong arm governments to pass bills that could give power to indiscriminately and without process or trial shut down entire websites without as much as a 'by your leave'. I was discussing this with friends and the biggest and most assuring fact that is staring at me straight in the face is that the internet unifies the world and brings a transparency and accountability to government and larger administrative bodies like never before. And this is because of the power and prerogative that the internet bestows on the individual of this generation. Whether it is the Anna Hazare movement in India or the sizable withrawal of support for SOPA in the U.S. It happens when you and I choose to speak for and stand up for what we believe in. It happens when we care enough to do that. The heartening fact is more and more of us are choosing to.
Links for the curious: Why SOPA is dangerous by Chris Heald at Mashable. What is SOPA and how does it work? by Nilay Patel at The Verge. SOPA page at Wikipedia which is available through the blackout period

And click here to read the powerfully worded article which prompted me to write this post.

A few months back we saw another side of the coin with the a lot of us bloggers coming together for the 1st time and discussing blatant piracy and copying in our midst. Copying is sad and it is ugly and the creator certainly feels a pinch when someone takes what you thought of and worse takes it further, reaches more people, either with marketing or affordability. Creativity and ambition don't always go hand in hand and there are many dynamics to this game. At a very superficial level there will always be people who are better at creating and and another lot of people who once they see a possibility are better at taking it further, making it bigger and even better. And there is a place for all of this. And each must and will eventually do what they can. Perhaps the thing to remember here is what you can do is stretchable and elastic and flexible and can grow and expand, evolve and change as you will. Which means a creator can create and market to a whole new level if they wished so, and a vise versa. This I say for myself as much as much as for for anyone reading this. And what I have been clumsily trying to say is put so beautifully here.
"Its not where you take things from - its where you take them to" Jean Luc Godard

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