Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

Open Letter to Rep. Bill Flores re SOPA

19.01.2012 (7:33 am) – Filed under: Politics,Technology ::

Dear Mr. Flores: 

I am writing in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently being debated in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Although I respect the need of media providers to market their works to customers, I feel very strongly that citizens of the United States and the world need a free and unfettered Internet – which is perhaps the last remaining space that remains relatively free from government interference – far more. 

Of course the Internet could hardly have been envisioned by the Founding Fathers; however, it should be recognized that it operates under the protection of two essential rights guaranteed under the Constitution, those being freedom of speech and freedom of association.  The fact that videos and music are occasionally bootlegged on the information super highway is not a valid reason for closing the road or adding "speed bumps".  Laws already exist to protect media giants – law makers and enforcement should use them instead of foolishly attempting to regulate the online activities of the world’s constituents.

In fact, the reality of the situation is that media  companies themselves bear much of the blame for online piracy.  Fifteen years ago music piracy was a major issue for them.  Then iTunes came along, established a legitimate online market, and the problem was effectively solved.  The same thing could and should happen in the video space today.  It will happen soon, once media companies stop squabbling and recognize that Netflix and its competitors are the market for the secondary release of their products.  This will happen in the natural course of events; no irreversible government action is required.

In conclusion, I urge you to recognize that SOPA is a bad idea that does not deserve to be considered by Congress, let alone be passed into law,  and to work diligently to make sure this ill-met legislation is withdrawn immediately.

Thank you,

Marc Moore

P.S.  Frankly I expect more than knee-jerk reactions from Republican lawmakers.  A bill like SOPA is enough to make me seriously re-think my steadfast support for the party I have consistently voted in favor of my entire life.