Thoughts on SOPA and PIPA ?
I agree that the SOPA and PIPAis a waste of tax payers money, and is a good way of limiting intellectual growth of the population through selective distribution of information. As in, if you can afford to buy that information then you gain the intellectual upper hand. It is a way of keeping the rich, rich and the poor, poor.
The problem is, the way music production, and movie production is currently managed, means that if there is no anti Piracy Laws, then people will refuse to invest money into producing block busters movies, if they aren't going to get their money back. No block buster movies being produced means, nothing for us to pirate.
So here is my solution. Instead of getting countries to sign up to Anti Piracy Laws, we instead get countries to sign up to funding the production of movies and music, make it an extra tax of 1% of your income or something. We set up a global organisation, we can call "UAF" United Arts Fund or something, and every year, keen musicians/production companies submit their song or music video or album to the "UAF" and every year, citizens of the world get to vote on the songs, music videos and albums they wish to get produced. As part of the submission process, the production companies also submit a business case outlining costs for producing the song, album or music video, and so what the citizens of the world et to vote on, is if the "UAF" had $2 billion to spend (from country governemtn contributions), global citizens through collaboration, get to decide on which songs, music videos they want produced, and whether they are keen to pay the full amount the production company is putting forward, or if they wish to negotiate other amounts, buy submitting counter proposals for costs. If the musiciain or production company is happy with the proposal, and the citizens have agreed this is a song they want produced, the production company is then obliged to produce the song/album/music video and as it has been paid for by the global citizens, it is then that song/album/music video can be downloaded and shared as many times as people want, because we as global citizens own the right to that song/music video/album.
The same can apply to movies and books. What this solution enables is global collaboration on the production of information (in this case movies), enabling people to still be able to afford to produce movies (And we only get movies we actually want).
So as to ensure that regional content can still be produced, and that the minority aren;t overrules by the majority on everything, as in so the 1.5 billions chinese don't decide on all the movies produced (because they have the larger vote), a certain amount of the UAF will also go the the production of regional movies, so all music isn't american, and all movies indian or chinese. This aspect would still have to be thought through a little more. but it could still mean that actors get high paid salaries if their costs are added to the business case, and we agre to fund that movie.
That way we get to decide what information we want made available and we get to use it as much as we want. It would mean no more copyright laws and therefor no need to spend money on policing it, and because in general a lot of us currently go to the movies and spend NZD$15 per movie, having that money go to a global fund, as part of a tax, isn't going to impact me too much. And the thing is, any country that chooses not to sign up to this concept it isn't going to make much difference, because they would generally be the countries that currently don't follow copy right laws anyway.
You could actually apply this concept to anything really, if an inventor comes up with an idea, posts the propotype online, and out of an IF (Innovation Fund) we can decide which products we want to put into production and whether we are prepared for that product to be as valuable as it is, then all we should have to pay when we actually buy the product, is the manufacturing costs and the distribution of the product, because the actual value of the product ($1 million lets say for a new type of lightbulb) would have been covered by the Fund, leaving us to only have to pay for the manufacturing of the product and distribution, which is the standard operating costs.
Anyway that is my thought, to make us a more globally colalborative society, helping to spread the diistribution of wealth, and enabling us to decide how that wealth is distributed.
I forgot to add, that the mechanism that could work for managing the votes for the various artists etc, to ensure it is not riggid, would be to use the Bitcoin engine, which i believe some places are using for managing the electronic votes at election time, to ensure no tampered votes, and only valid votes are counted.
I understand the problem for which you have proposed such solution, but all monetary interests aside, I respectfully feel that it is important for the arts, music and motion picture, as their own entities and free of the popular vote. Artists don't nescesarily target the most mainstream views and I belive that is why it they are so critical to society.
This is really not as crackpot as may seem on first reading. These bills are designed to fight all online content piracy including that of television programs. Here in the UK we have the BBC which is funded by a flat tax (which we call the license fee) on everyone who owns a television. From this fee is funded excellent news coverage, documentries and drama free to watch by anyone with a television or BBC i-player enabled device. We even have a history of partially public broadcast funded film making with our Channel Four via its Film Four brand-which used a mix of revenues from advertising, cinema release and levies on the other commercial broadcasters to produce films, including if memory is correct (I don't have wikipedia to look it up) Slumdog Millionaire.
However the BBC has a lot of tradition, corporate culture and public support behind it so that it can avoid being manipulated into the mouth piece or tool of any one interest group (though some climate change sceptics and right wing zealots may disagree). Without an established tradition behind it I can see such a fund as you suggest being manipulated if not by governments than by special interest groups. With your Bitcoin suggestion I can just imagine a scenario where massed Christian pastors urge their flocks to "vote" for some suitably Christian movies.
I fully agree, if any change were to take place, it would have to be given quite a bit of thought, to ensure that you don't get mainstream media being controlled by christian pastors urging their flocks on what to "vote" for. The thing is though, there is nothing stopping that from happening now, mnedia companies, make money buy selling songs and albums via various mediums. there is nothing stopping those christian pastors from telling their flock to not buy the latest marilyn manson song, therefor meaning less money for the production company.
But I do believe if enough thought is given to it, like the BBC, but allowing us to have some mechanism for having a voice on the music or movies we like, it could work.
I just think there needs to be a better way of ensuring information is available to the world, piracy laws protect the people investing in creating the information, but limit the availability of that information, and yet without piracy laws, you lose people wanting to invest all their money in creating something that is available to everyone, but that investor will never see a dime of their cash back.
I know I certainly can't afford to pay $5000 to have a production company record a song for me, and then me give it away. I could do it as a gimik for publicity, but not as a long term solution, otherwise who will pay rent, buy my food, if I am making no money from recording songs. I will need to get a fulltime job doing something else, meaning no music production. So maybe the solution put forward above is not the complete answer, but it could be a step in the right direction, if enough people put their heads together and work out all the pit falls and come upw ith something that actually ensures money is available for artists to record new songs, whilst at the same time, providing that music freely to the world.
i thinkt he same could be applied to a lot of things though. pharmaceutical companies invest millions in researching new drugs, and generally only drugs that are going to provide them with highest return on investment, and after discovering the drug, they hide the formular away behind copy right laws, so no other pharmaceutical companies can reproduce it, therefore limiting access to cures to those who can afford it. Yet another way for the rich to keep themsevles rich and keep the poor always wanting... Get rid of copy right laws, and allow funding into research and development of new drugs to be funded through a single global entity, with all information relating to that drug and the research around it, to be publicly available from day 1, each year they reapply for funding, and if their work is not funded for a second year, it doesn't mean the information is lost, it may well be used by another research intiative during another funding run.
this approach to managing the creation of information could well annoy a lot of large corporates, because they will then be limited in the means by which they can make money from information. It doesn't mean that they wont charge us an arm and a leg to actually buy the medicine using the publicly available formula, but what it will mean, is that it will be more competitive, as each manaufacturer will have access to the same information, and it will then become about who can do it the cheapest and win the contract to mass produce these drugs.