While this is a slight swerve off topic, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act are huge issues in our industry. Unfortunately the union I belong to, IATSE (Local 600, the Cinematographers Guild), has taken a public and vocal stance in favor of SOPA/PIPA under the guise of “protecting jobs”. While protecting our jobs is, indeed, the nominal purpose of our union, IATSE has in this instance allowed itself to be drafted into the service of protecting the massive profitability of giant corporate conglomerates for which entertainment is but one small piece of their empire. There are far more achievable and relevant ways to promote craft jobs within the industry than championing a futile and draconian legislative assault on “piracy”.
SOPA/PIPA as written are absurdly overreaching and prone to serious abuse. Reducing piracy to zero is impossible and enacting dangerous, overly broad and potentially unconstitutional laws in a misguided attempt to eradicate piracy will only result in failure and putting a powerful weapon in the hands of people I don’t trust to wield it justly.
As a professional in the media industry I believe that if we can’t inspire audiences to want to pay for entertainment, if we can’t create experiences which people find valuable, then either we’ve failed or we’re irrelevant. Show business is about evoking wonder and joy and excitement, not further eviscerating the 4th Amendment to prop up corporations which can’t survive now that the digital box they built for Pandora has been opened. Oppose SOPA/PIPA and focus on creating irresistible art and entertainment.