The internet we know today was originally created as a means of protecting vital information in the case of an invasion. It involved the U.S. department of defense and some American universities, and it was known as Darpanet.
Darpanet eventually became the Internet as we know it today. The internet is a vital world resource, but since it was originally created within the U.S., it’s mostly all regulated within the U.S. as well.
US laws have repercussions all over the world. Which is why law projects like SOPA ( the Stop-Online-Piracy-Act ) which threaten the neutrality of the internet, is a concern to everybody. At least everybody that’s online. And now-a-days, that’s a lot of people.
And the good news is that this article is more of a eulogy than anything, since as we all know, SOPA, that no good piece of law, was defeated. An unprecedented amount of people contacted their government to complain, web organizations like Google and Wikipedia had blackouts and similar actions. Basically the internet got together to defeat a bill that would have amputated the internet. Basic survival instinct. That’s powerful stuff.
And sure, I’m against copyright infringement, but it should be up to the copyright owner to enforce it. It should not become the responsibility of search engines and internet service providers to police such content.
And who’s asking for such draconian measures? It’s mostly the RIAA ( Record-Industry-Association-of-America ) and MPAA ( Motion-Picture-Association-of-America ).And to this day, depending on the jurisdiction, some people are still being given massive fines and even sent to jail for ripping or distributing some movie, or some piece of music. And yet any public library will have a photocopier available to photocopy any written copyrighted work right there on the premises. They even get a cut of the profits. And that’s legal.
So my questions is: Why do we allow municipal institutions, such as public libraries, to profit from facilitating copyright infringement of the written word and of visual arts, while we prosecute criminally people who distribute music and music type arts for the only crime of wanting to share their love of that art?
It’s possible that our culture and our governments are telling us that anything visual is of no value, but that, oh wait! IF it’s got soundtrack to it, IT IS A CRIME TO COPY IT!!!
The reality is that the feds are too cowardly to start going after those evil municipal governments and their evil public libraries. That would be one level of government taking on another level of government, and that would require courage. Feds don’t like working that hard.But, when it comes to creating a legal framework that allows music industry related enforcement pit-bulls to pounce on single moms and their kids for sharing a song, well in those cases, the feds are glad to help.
But maybe I’m getting worked up about this, so I therefore conclude expediently, not wanting to become another person who ends up M.I.A. because of the R.I.A.A. …
Conclusion: So, in a supreme display of irony, the internet, a system that was created to protect vital information from foreign invaders, ended up getting attacked by a home-grown threat to liberty and freedom of speech: unchecked corporate greed.
*NATNOTE: And for those who think the art for this particular post is rather weak, well, that’s precisely the point. I create original art that I own for this blog. So if SOPA would have gone thru, it would not have affected me that much. But If SOPA had gone thru, the blogs of most people who post material they do not own, would have ended up looking like the visuals for this blog: [ NO ART INCLUDED ] !
SCREEN-FREE WEEK 2016
Screen-Free Week is about whether you’re able to go for a full week without using any electronic devices that have screens. This year, it’s being held from may 2nd to 8th. Basically, we’re talking about anything from smartphones, tablets, televisions, consoles, to computers and laptops. The numeral display on your microwave gets a pass.
I’ve participated twice in the exercise so far:
And I have to say I have mixed feelings about it. Sure, media addiction is a real problem. People spend a ridiculous amount of time every day being absolutely fixated to flickering screens, so much so that they don’t notice the real world happening live, right in front of them. So it makes sense to have a media awareness campaign that dares to ask people to look at whether or not their media consumption is balanced or not.
On the flip side though, as someone who’s participated in the challenge twice, I have to say that going a whole week without any means of contacting people digitally can be little harsh. If you happen to be isolated and you don’t have many, or any, people in your life that you can spend time with in person. Because, let’s say you came out to your friends and family and ended up alone. Then Screen-Free Week can be a bit of a tall order. In reality, it’s like asking someone to go without any human contact for a week. For outcast queer people like me, sometimes communicating digitally is the only type of socializing that we have access to.
It seems to me that the same people who preach about returning to more down-to-earth traditional values, and cutting off contact with technology, are the same people who exclude people who don’t fit the mold, from their communities. So you can’t really blame us if we become addicted to our electronic devices afterwards. Your communities are barred to us.
Posted in COMMENTARY, TEXTUALS WITHOUT VISUALS
Tagged fighting the power, game console, internet, media saturation, screen devices, SCREEN-FREE WEEK, smartphones, tablet, television, TV TURNOFF WEEK