All across the web today, websites have gone dark in solidarity with protests in the US against the impending SOPA and PIPA legislation.
Having recently learned of the idiotic situation in Belarus where the government (dictator) of that country has outlawed access to ANY foreign website and since January of this year does not allow any citizen business or entrepreneur to register/use any domain but .bk domain names, I thought to my self , are we not lucky to be living in a more enlightened country and part of a greater free and enlightened Internet community.
But wait..... the founding community of the Internet, the land of the free, the US is about to pass legislation to effectively demolish the Internet as we know it and to enact the exact even more draconian policies to Belarus and other "similarly enlightened" states like China.
In case you have been wondering what all the fuss is about... It's about freedom of access to information, freedom of speech and opposition of big business copyright lobbying masquerading as anti-piracy legislation. It all sound nice and logical on paper, however scratch under the surface and you can see where this is going.
Similar laws and agreements are being drafted all over the world. The story is always the same: the business interests of Big Media etc are being written into law, using excuses such as fraud, counterfeiting, child pornography, and more to hide their business strategy to remove free access to media of any sort and restore their control of same to the determent of individual artists. Today right now media is cheap, distribution is nearly free, and individual artists are thriving. It's not a landscape that Big media organisation want.
Unfortunately the controls proposed in the new legislation in the US will be applied eventually to all areas of the internet, and will impact the world, basically allowing governments/dictators to decide and set-policy who should have access to what website and for how much.
Trying to combat Piracy on the Internet is one thing.... but at what price?
For more information, visit Google's page on the subject More about SOPA and PIPA