A group of some pretty damn famous people within the entertainment industry just made it clear that the folks pushing PIPA and SOPA do not represent their best interests
. To hear the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce tell the story, they're pushing these bills in order to "protect artists." But more and more we're seeing the very artists they claim they're protecting say they want no part of these laws. The guys from The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer), famous both for their YouTube videos and their work on NBC's Saturday Night Live
, along with a number of other notable names in the entertainment industry -- including Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage, Damian Kulash (and the rest of OK GO), the band MGMT, and a bunch more -- have written a letter saying that, as internet users, they don't think these bills are a good idea:
We fear that the broad new enforcement powers provided under SOPA and PIPA could be easily abused against legitimate services like those upon which we depend. These bills would allow entire websites to be blocked without due process, causing collateral damage to the legitimate users of the same services - artists and creators like us who would be censored as a result.
We are deeply concerned that PIPA and SOPA’s impact on piracy will be negligible compared to the potential damage that would be caused to legitimate Internet services. Online piracy is harmful and it needs to be addressed, but not at the expense of censoring creativity, stifling innovation or preventing the creation of new, lawful digital distribution methods.
We urge Congress to exercise extreme caution and ensure that the free and open Internet, upon which so many artists rely to promote and distribute their work, does not become collateral damage in the process.
When even the very people that the entertainment industry insists its "protecting" with these bills are being quite vocal against them, you have to wonder why they're being pushed so hard? Once again, it seems that these bills aren't about protecting artists at all. They're about protecting the gatekeepers, who want to control those artists...