Sunday, January 15, 2012


SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) has been in the news lately.  Being in the music business, as well as being a songwriter, this directly affects me.  First, there has always been piracy, but from what I've seen, it does not have a negative affect on the music business.  In fact, I think it does the opposite - it helps get music out to the public.  Yes, there will always be those who only want something for free - but we will never be able to stop them.  I believe that the percentage of freeloaders is not significant enough to worry about.

What happens with these attempts at censorhip is, the real intention is not necessarily about what they purport - in this case, claiming to want to stop piracy - the real intention is to initiate being able to censor anything that a person does not approve of, and for the government to get control of whatever is being discussed.  What censorship does is put power in the wrong hands - in the hands of the snivelling and the pathetic - to get control of other people.  If you have ever been on the receiving end of the "Flagging" feature on sites such as Craigslist, you would see the real effects.  You have basement dwellers who do nothing but troll sites, looking for posts to flag - they are able to take any post they do not approve of, and make it disappear - this is precisely the intent of those who support SOPA and other attempts at censorhip.  And, that's not to mention what happens when the government gets control of something.  Plaigarism is already against the law, why not go after the people who break those laws, instead of making laws that stifle people who use the internet.  Enacting laws such as SOPA would be like saying, "Speeding is against the law, so let's shut down any and all roadways where speeding occurs" - it' absurd.

Ha, and how 'bout this one:  Craigslist is against SOPA, but they have the FLAGGING feature (which are one and the same) firmly in place at their site.  Bunch of self serving hypocrites, that Craig guy and his staff.

Should any of my music get out to the public, I would welcome it to be part of what goes on on the internet - including what is known to some as "Piracy".  From where I sit, it appears to me that "piracy" helps promote the music, and does not have any significant negative affect on sales.  My proof is this - you can download for free, any kind of music that there is, but, some sells and some doesn't.  You can get Rap and Britney Spears for free, but the stuff sells like crazy - and the reason is, SOMEBODY LIKES IT.  Now, maybe they are buying this stuff for the wrong reasons, but it's not up to me, or anybody else, to shut down the venues.  I'd be open to discuss the possibility of certain sites paying royalties - the same as radio stations and bars who must pay royalties to BMI, ASCAP, and other royalty collection organizations - so that the owners of the copyrights can get paid for use of their property.

Anyway, for me, censorship of any kind is a bad thing.

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