Last week the online world was ALL up in arms about the SOPA and PIPA antipiracy bills that came close to passing in the US House and Senate. The bills would’ve given the US government new powers to block Americans from accessing copyright-infringing Websites.
Unfortunately the bills were written by lobbyists from the movie studios and record labels, and were full of holes and open to abuse. The technology world was not happy. Wikipedia blacked itself out in protest, and thousands of Websites joined in, including the front pages of Google, Wired, The Oatmeal, and even The Happy Grownup. Ultimately, Congress shelved the bills in response to the protests.
Surely, the fight is not over between Big Content and Big Technology. But until the legislators come up with a better system for combating egregious copyright abusers, is there anything we can do as individuals to help?
Yes there is. We should ask ourselves why we need to watch movies or listen to music SO BADLY that we feel compelled to go out and steal it in large quantities. Do we really want to be a nation/world of media junkies, mindlessly devouring content, needing a fix so desperately that we’re willing to turn a blind eye to the fact that we’re stealing (even if we’re stealing from rich Uncle Content)?
The key to stopping online piracy is not coming up with a better piece of legislation, but to look at ourselves. We need to find ways to enjoy life that don’t involve trolling the Internet for pirated entertainment.
With that in mind, here are 5 things you can do instead of stealing copyrighted content:
- Create your own content. Create art. Maybe start a blog or, if you don’t want to write, start a YouTube channel.
- Go for a walk.
- Talk to your friends.
- See your family.
- Learn something. Read a book (just don’t pirate it). Check out a blog (maybe one that’s uncopyrighted).
These are just a few examples. The possibilities are endless.