Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SOPA? Nope-a!

After a grass roots protest which included many websites going dark SOPA is dead, at least for now. The legislation will surface in another session of Congress, probably sooner rather than later. Still it's been a good day for freedom of expression, with the understanding that theft of intellectual property remains a vexing problem.
Inherent in SOPA and other legislation is intent to "allow the creative to be free to create". The premise of protecting the inventor for the sake of invention is misplaced at best. Dancers dance, singers sing, creators create and inventors invent. The concept of profitability wanders along later. Imagine these two conversations from history, reconstituted through the thought process of  US legislators:
  • Young Orville and Young Wilbur see a bird flying overhead, look at each other and nod in synch. Orville says "Do you think we can get $50 a suitcase in 2011?"
  • Alexander Graham Bell picks up his new invention and speaks with urgency, "Watson, come here. I need you." Watson rushes into the room and Bell continues, "I don't have an unlimited minutes package and since you are in the building, I saw no need to waste my minutes."

Dancers dance, singers sing, creators create and inventors invent because they are driven. No legislation encourages them. Not only do dancers dance, etc. but also cheaters cheat, thieves thieve and robbers rob. No legislation can completely protect the property of the inventor. Any legislation that grants sweeping powers to suppress in fact inhibits the inventor.

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