**PLEASE understand this is only my opinion and after seeing all of the cheering and woohooing over Megaupload being taken down, I have to throw my two cents in the ring. This does not mean I want to have my email, FB, or blog comments blown up by people arguing that I'm wrong. This is my opinion and I have the right to express it without censure.***
As most of you know, I am a published author. While I understand that pirates cause others to lose money, I can't jump on the band wagon and cheer that MegaUpload was taken down. You're going to find two new sites that pop up in its place shortly. In fact, if I heard correctly, Megaupload is already back up and running.
Pirating is an unavoidable evil such as taxes and death. The only way to effectively kill pirating would be to take down the internet. Can you really see this world surviving without the internet? Would it have been so easy for some of us to actually become published or become a singer discovered on Youtube? The internet has opened opportunities in so many ways that many of us would never have had.
There will always be people who buy books/movies/music/etc., and there will always be people who don't/can't afford it. What's the difference between someone pirating it on the net and someone borrowing it from the library over and over again? The one copy is paid for and then that's it. No other royalties are paid out for that one book. Or renting videos. The video is purchased by Netflix/Blockbuster/general movie stores, and rented out continuously but they only paid for the initial copies and make thousands of dollars on that copy. How is that any different? Because it's a business? Because it's been accepted up to now?
If this bill that has been causing so much controversy and partying by some passes, a good portion of you don't even understand how that's going to impact you. Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, all of it will be impacted in some manner or another. And it may even hurt your royalties. Don't believe me? Read up on it.
Wikipedia - Stop Online Piracy Act
You know how most of us don't even need to go to a library to research information for the stories we write? Google will no longer be able to link to a LOT of sites where you do get your information. No more easy research, no more sitting in front of your computer and researching while you write. Now you'll have to get your butt off the chair and go to the library with time you may not have to spare.
If they take away our right to information, isn't that taking away our rights? I think it is. Because this bill would not just affect pirating of books/movies/music, it would also affect ANY site that links, posts, or contains any copyrighted information to the smallest sentence. Our blogs? The photos we use on our blogs? If we don't have the copyright owner's permission, you won't be able to post those pretty pictures everyone loves.
So maybe before cheering that MegaUpload is gone, stop and think a bit. Think of what it's actually going to impact, how it's going to impact you (and I don't mean earning perhaps a few pennies more in royalties), and think outside the box of this bill only being against pirating.
*Phew* Okay, I am done ranting. I needed to share that. Again, please do not blow up my comments, email or FB with how I'm wrong, etc etc. I don't care to hear it because this is my opinion and I don't jump on others for their opinion. This post is not directly pointed at anyone in particular.