Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Formal Thanks to the Universe! (and shudder for recent copyright bills)

I survived finals! Granted, I only had one real final, and a project, and a mock-panel, but I still survived! Part of the reason I survived was because everywhere I turned, there was stuff to help me write my papers, do my project, and finish the mock-panel. I think this may have more to do with how customized my social media interactions are then anything else but it doesn't change the fact that I have to formally thank the universe.

Every time I went on tumblr or twitter or essentially lazed about instead of working, there would be a post on SOPA/PROTECT IP Act of 2011 or someone writing about institutional repositories or someone talking about cataloging a movie. All of this not only prodded me to finish (early-ish might I add), but helped me be more topical and up to date.

That being said, SOPA/PROTECT IP Act of 2011/et al are still a bad idea. We don't need new ways of punishing people for stealing on the web (still bad), especially ways that ruin the web experience for those of us who don't steal. We don't need to extend liability, block access to websites, or shut down websites. What we need is copyright law that acknowledges the ways in which people use stuff on the web (remix culture), and what they are willing to pay for. Things like Flikr, which encourage people to share freely on the web (the picture used in this blog post, for instance, was provided by the Smithsonian on Flikr and can be used by all as its not under any copyright restrictions), or Amazon's ebook store that allows people to sell books directly to readers are a much better way to counter theft on the web. These laws are designed more to back traditional players in the game then to protect people's copyright interests.  

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