Big events today, that I feel I need to chime in on. Which also begins a new section, which hopefully will see more updates in the future! I present to you: Post Script – Afterthoughts on real world events or issues.

In the famous words…”Today is a day that will live in infamy…”

Well quotations aside, to recap yesterday was the great big internet Black Out, basically most of the big websites and companies went “dark” for a period of 12-24 hours in protest of the new SOPA / PIPA bills proposed in congress.

I’m a big supporter of an open internet, so I’ll just go out and admit that I don’t support either bill, as it wouldn’t do anything but give the MAFIAA more power than it needs.
Today another big event went down, the FBI closed down Megaupload, arrested some of its members, and started a cyber war. Around 15 mins after news of Megaupload’s demise reached the ears of the public, Anonymous began taking down US government websites and MAFIAA related websites. As of this writing, the “attacks” are still going on.

Now I’ll say right out that DoS attacks on these websites don’t do much but cost the companies a tiny bit of money (especially the MAFIAA), but I think they are more symbolism than anything. When the FBI is acting in the interest of the MAFIAA instead of going after national threats, then we have to ask ourselves, where does the trail lead? My meaning of course is that it seems the US Government is more concerned corporate interests than the interests of its own citizens.

Has our government become so corrupt that lobby and corporate bribery “donations” are what controls the actions our government takes?

Some of the comments on this issue I’ve seen accuse Megaupload and the others involved of “stealing US property.” Excuse me? Do you even understand how laws work? They are alleged to have committed copyright violations.  If copyright violations were theft it would be called theft.  There’s a reason that there are separate laws for these things, for God sake man, at the very LEAST understand what you are trying to argue.

Another comment I’ve read stated, “George, artists and producers need to be PAID for the work they do. SHARING means one person is buying one copy for themselves…but then ‘sharing’ it was maybe thousands of others, so the artists and producers are not being paid.  And so then that artist has to get a job as a waiter, and that producer…also has to get a job as a waiter.  Most of us are NOT large corporations, our pockets are NOT “already filled” — wake up to reality: The people who create the entertainment you love are suffering!  This internationally coordinated takedown is huge good news for the future of our industry.”

Here’s another uneducated bloke trying to justify the corruption going down today. Understand that Copyright laws only go as far as to protect those who own the IP from having others profit off their work. I.E. music producers, directors, actors, singers, bands, etc. that are all the ones we listen to and are popular DO have lined pockets. They make money per use of their product ANYWHERE IT IS USED FOR GAIN. We call this royalties and it makes up the margin of the market, and is over billions of dollars in revenue each year. Don’t start defending people with more money than you will ever have in your lifetime, that they need more of it. That’s forcing class barriers. If the property is shared for free, its free propaganda for the makers and free publicity, which is to say its free advertisements for them if anything.

A major issue that I have with what happened today is that ALL of the involved people who were arrested WEREN’T US citizens and they were just “alleged” to have committed crimes. And Megaupload used just for piracy? Well that’s true for ANY file sharing service, I bet most of the stuff on Dropbox etc isn’t legal either. But when a quarter of all coporate traffic uses a service, that means it’s not just about the piracy.

The whole copyright infringement laws we have in the US are pretty ridiculous in themselves, to put it in simple layman perspective, “You get 5 years in jail for copyright infringement of Michael Jackson’s song, but kill Michael Jackson? Only 4 years.”

And the RIAA’s response to all this? They are “Deeply Grateful” to the Justice Department for Thwarting Megaupload’s “Sinister Scheme.” My opinions are as Gizmodo put it best, “The RIAA is excited, and even if the organization has used some choice words before, it has really outdone itself here by calling Megaupload “criminal operators” with the “malicious intent” of undermining the “creative community,” and throwing in a plug for SOPA to boot. Impressive. Don’t forget, though, that Megaupload hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, and that a big part of the creative community the RIAA claims to represent supports Megaupload.” My other belief that goes along with all of this is that this is in retaliation to the Megaupload video incident a while back.

“Piracy” is the new “terrorist.” It’s a hype term that’s being used to justify an abuse of power. People aren’t getting upset about this because they think they deserve free movies. They’re getting upset because the entertainment industry apparently has the Justice Department in its back pocket.

All in all, today’s actions by the FBI prove that the government can AND will take down any site they want. SOPA/PIPA is just corporate interests wanting more power. I’m supporting these attacks, someone needs to stand up for the people and Anonymous is doing that.