In solidarity with Reddit and other sites, this site is blacked out today (January 18th) in protest against SOPA and PROTECT IP laws. These laws are a threat to free speech and to the freedom of the Internet. Please contact your congressional representative and tell them to vote 'No' on this law.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why SOPA is wrong

The idea of copyright (and patents) is to encourage authors by giving them a monopoly over their work for a limited time. The idea is that the benefits of copyright exceed the costs to society of enforcing that monopoly.

The "copyright cartels" of today have warped this beyond all reason. Instead of a limited term of 14 years, they have created copyrights of unlimited duration. Moreover, the costs to society of trying to enforce copyright on the Internet have exploded beyond all reason, damaging both society (by threatening the freedom of speech) and the Internet itself (through regulation and management costs).

The SOPA bill makes all this even worse.

Copyright still makes sense. It's still worthwhile giving authors a monopoly over works for a limited time. It's still worth spending some effort enforcing that monopoly. But not to the degree that it damages our freedoms, and not to the degree that it damages the Internet. Contact your politicians and tell them to vote "no" on SOPA.

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