There are few people that would disagree with legislation that limits their ability to use the internet. Maybe the best known rendition of this is The Great Firewall Of China. Needless to say access to this site from China was curtailed several years ago.

It also would appear that Myanmar (Burma for us old folks), and India have followed suit. Quite what we have done wrong is beyond me. Sure we make the occasional snide comment, but it should be taken in context.

No one likes censorship.

Equally no one likes piracy of Intellectual Property and the Internet certainly has a few problems with protecting IP rights. I work with Film Makers, Musicians, and Authors, on a daily basis. I understand the need for IP protection. I have files and CD’s that are peoples livelihoods, publishing them online would have a financial impact, well lets face it, who wants to pay when you can get it for free?

At first sight the idea of the government stepping up to the plate to curb online piracy seems like a laudable cause.  However the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are flawed. That became abundantly clear by the actions taken by websites of a high caliber and high reputation such as Google and showing their displeasure by blacking out their sites for 24 hours.

The kids in the government seem to have lost interest in SOPA and PIPA! But the folks in Hollywood certainly have not.

To understand SOPA and PIPA one has to understand the way that many laws become laws. The process is one fueled by special interest groups with lots and lots of money. One such group is the MPAA.  They have a vested interest in curbing piracy of movies and have gone to great lengths to force their will on others, even Hardware manufacturers have caved in to their demands of including security features in TV’s, Players, and probably the power cord, to prevent piracy.

Well if you can whack the Hardware and Software people around, the Government should have been a piece of cake, right? Well not quite and the MPAA are pissed!

In what can only we viewed as an open mouth and firmly insert both feet in mouth moment, the MPAA’s head cleric Chris Dodd dropped this bombshell on a Fox News interview.

Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.

Ouch, he is pissed at the law makers that his organization has been ‘funding’. No more free movie passes!

Simon Barrett

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