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Hollywood Pro Speaks Out: "Why I Can't Support the Stop Online Piracy Act"

 
 
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Freelance film editor Marta Evry, who according to IMDd has worked on major series like HouseLie to Me, and The Pacific, has written an exhaustive blog post detailing why she cannot, as a Hollywood professional, support the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate.

As you may be aware, SOPA has pitted Hollywood executives against web giants and open-internet supporters who fear the legislation could destroy the internet as we know it. But this Hollywood type can't get behind the bill, even though it was ostensibly drafted to protect professionals like her. Evry writes:

According to a report published by the AFL-CIO, online piracy costs content providers (mostly TV networks and movie studios) a lot of money. Around $20 billion annually.That, in turn, costs a staggering number of industry-related jobs - over 140,000 by some estimates.

As a freelance film editor, this scares the hell out of me.  If the networks and studios I work for don't make money, sooner or later I'm out of a job. And if I'm out of a job long enough, I lose my union health benefits, my pension, the whole ball of wax.

However:

Even without SOPA/PIPA's First Amendment implications (you can read some pretty good arguments herehere and here), the bills as currently proposed are horribly flawed documents devised by people who either don't understand how the internet works, or worse, understand it all too well and are trying to game the system for unfair competitive advantage.

Evry goes on to detail how SOPA/PIPA are "built on a foundation of quicksand," could interfere with foreign policy and cyber-security, and place all the burden for enforcement on U.S. businesses and websites. She concludes that "the divide over SOPA/PIPA isn't political -- it's between those who understand the internet and those who don't."

The post is long and comprehensive -- and contains some great suggestions on what you can do fight SOPA/PIPA -- so I suggest you read the whole thing here.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at January 12, 2012, 7:24am

 
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