A Question For SOPA Supporters: How Will You Gauge SOPA's Success?
from the quid-pro-quo dept
With all the discussion of what SOPA will or won’t do in terms of breaking the internet or violating the first and fourth amendments, what I have yet to see discussed in depth is how supporters will measure the success of SOPA, if passed.
So, I’d like to take this chance to ask supporters of SOPA directly: how will you gauge the success of SOPA? What I’m interested in hearing is if any sort of metric has been defined.
I’ll lay out my case briefly:
Like a lot of people, I’m of the belief that infringement can’t be stopped. Even with this legislation in place, it’s not difficult to imagine the same sort of whack-a-mole game that has plagued the content industries in the past will continue, only on a worldwide scale with the government’s blessing. While this may increase the number of sites shut down or cut off from funding, I feel that it’s overall impact will be minimal. I could be completely wrong about this, but I feel that those who still want to get something for free will still find a way, and find it much easier than those seeking to shut it down would imagine. The internet moves faster than 100+ year old industries and the government.
As collateral damage from this legislation mounts (and even the content industry’s lawyer admits there will be some), there will be backlash from those affected. This has the possibility of encouraging more users to “stick it to the man,” such as it were, increasing the amount of infringing activity.
If the intention of this legislation is to provide enforcement for copyright, my belief is that there should be some sort of metric or guideline to gauge its success. Without some sort of measurement in place, the very real possibility is that the enforcement efforts will continue to expand in scope and cause more and more collateral damage.
So, in all honesty, I’d like to open this thread to supporters of SOPA. I’d like to know how you’d measure the success of this legislation. Will it be based on the number of sites shuttered? Is it an increase in sales? If so, is there a certain percentage or dollar amount that would demonstrate the effectiveness of this bill? Is it something more vague or has someone out there run any sort of numbers on what a desirable outcome would be?
I’m not looking to get hung up on semantics (“piracy” vs. “infringement,” “theft” vs. “sharing,” etc.) or looking to rehash any arguments about infinite goods, piracy leading to sales, industry studies or anything that distracts from this question. I’m also not interested in hearing “we just want our rights and intellectual property respected/protected.” This legislation goes far beyond anything that simplistic, especially something as unquantifiable as “respect.” I’d like the discussion to stay focused on what SOPA proponents feel this legislation will accomplish.
How do you, as a supporter of SOPA, gauge SOPA’s success?