Don’t Drop the SOPA

Imagine a world where all of the world’s creative works are reduced to ones and zeros and the control of that art is in the hands of a few tycoons.  A world where those same few Wall Street companies have enough money, influence and power to force all creators to work for free.  That time is now.

Beginning midnight on Wednesday January 18th, 2012 a few popular websites shut down for 24 hours as a planned protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act known as SOPA & PIPA, respectively.  In fact, one protester’s website says “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge.”  Reducing my creative works to ‘knowledge’  or ‘data’ that can be commoditized is so Skynet.

Some people spend their entire lives creating that one toy, one song, one book, one clothing accessory.  Their legacy.  In most cases, this creation is the only property of value they will have  to pass onto future generations.  Only to have some tycoon call it ‘information’ and re-purpose it for their own profit.  A creative work is not mere ‘knowledge’.  It’s a human creation.  Someone’s child.

This Ain’t a Movie…

Here is an excerpt from the popular movie The Matrix where the villain explains to the hero how, in the film’s bleak future, one organization controls the masses:

  • “Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from… …Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.

What Agent Smith did not understand was that the human condition is more than ones and zeros.  Our ideas are more than data that can be distributed perfectly with algorithms and without complication.  Humanity is suffering and pain.  Humanity is joy and laughter.  Humanity is complication.  Imposing any perfect-world scenario should not be mistaken as naive.  The last organization to almost succeed in creating a Utopian society were the Nazis.  How’s that working for you, Agent Smith?

The American dream used to be to learn a trade, earn a decent living, have a house, and make your mark.  That is still my dream and the dream of many others but it is no longer the dream that is being fed to us.  This new dream is to start a company, sell it to Wall Street for a hundred million dollars; rinse and repeat.  Although we are being told it is our dream, doesn’t it look a lot like a plan for world domination?

Let Me Clear Up a Few Things…

SOPA will not break the Internet.  The Internet is a network of millions of networks controlled by millions of people.  It’s not one thing that can break.  Yes, this regulation will create more work for some large, not-so-poverty-stricken corporations.  But these new jobs that will be created will actually help keep the virtual streets safe for our kids.

SOPA is not censorship.  Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable.  This bill will not stop anyone from being original or objectionable.  It will, however, stop people from distributing your original works without your permission.

SOPA does not bypass due process.  In order for the owner of a creative work to enforce against a rogue site, they must prove to a judge that the site has received refuge from outside the United States and that there is no reasonable way to properly contact the host or registrar.  Only then will a judge sign an order to block the illegal website.

Google, Facebook and Twitter already have systems in place to filter content they deem objectionable such as spam, child pornography and even racism.  Piracy can join that mix without a ton of disruption.

I have been working to prevent the theft of others’ Intellectual Property my entire adult life just as my father did before me.  I have faith in our judicial system, which is comprised of thousands of officials whom we ourselves elect.  I do not trust a handful of tycoons.

Now, I’m going to finish my coffee…

Hunt People Online – Los Angeles and Toronto Classes Coming This Month!

My IPCybercrime Boot Camp has been well-received all over North America and in Europe.  Whether you are an investigator by trade, a paralegal, a lawyer or a small business person you will benefit greatly from taking this all-day course.

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Seating is limited and time is running out.  So register now for Los Angeles on 11/14 or Toronto on 11/29.  CLICK HERE NOW!

Fear and Loathing on Facebook

Tim Tomkinson - Duck Hunter S. Thompson

Image by DogFromSPACE via Flickr

What happens when The Online Guys get together to discuss privacy on Facebook?   A lot of colorful talk and opinions galore.  This week Rob, Sam, Tony & Justin open the conversation with Sam’s report that Facebook is scheduled to be hacked in the near future by the terrorist organization ‘Anonymous’.  Then Rob gets Tony to expound on his theory that SkyNet may exist in these current times.  This is where the conversation gets great.  Each of us give our theories on the social media behemoths we know as Facebook and Google.  Some conspiracies flew and some signs of reason.  You will really enjoy our entertaining and very informative rants.  Go ahead.  Press play.  I know you want to.

…and don’t forget The Online Guys Tweetup on this Monday Aug 15th at 6pm at Cactus Club Cafe, 588 Burrard St., Vancouver, BC.  CLICK HERE for more details.  Be there!

The Online Guys + Justin Brackett = One Crazy Show!

This week we have the privilege of having one of North Carolina’s “Twitter Elite”  Justin Brackett co-host The Online Guys podcast with Rob and Samantha.  Justin takes names when it comes to emerging media.   On the show we discuss Rob’s counterfeit raids in Michigan, Justin’s countless projects and Samantha’s serial killer ways.   Yes, really.

And a big thank you to everyone that showed up to the Online Guys Tweetup in San Francisco.  We had a blast and hope you did too!

Go ahead and press play. We know you want to!

Authors and Social Media

The Blood That BondsChristopher Buecheler is the author of the recent book release ‘The Blood That Bonds‘ which already has 100,000 downloads on the Kindle.  Christopher used Social Media to familiarize potential fans with his content before its release and even involved them in his editing process.  Come see how his experience could affect you and how you approach your work.  Come on.  Press play.  I know you want to.