SOPA and Etta

Hello Internet, it’s Sunday, January 22nd, and I want to talk about you.

The Internet has been the subject of a lot of conversation this week, because the sharing of material online came under fire with a particularly ridiculous piece of legislation that was before the US Congress, called the Stop Online Piracy Act. If you don’t know about SOPA, 1) thank you for reading my blog even though you apparently spend little to no time on the internet otherwise, and 2) go here.

So, basically, SOPA was like trying to solve an ant infestation in your living room by unleashing lions. Some ants would be killed, but the real problem wouldn’t go away. Also, you’re more or less guaranteed to destroy everything that you liked about your living room in the first place.

On Wednesday, Wikipedia and a bunch of other websites “blacked out” in protest, and on Thursday, the law didn’t pass. So… victory, for now. But if pizza can be legally considered a vegetable in a school lunch, I don’t have much faith that another incarnation of this bill is going to pop up in the future.

The whole thing reminds me of this documentary that I watched about a year ago: RiP! A Remix Manifesto. It’s an National Film Board doc, and it is AWESOME. And you should watch it. It’s here, in full. Because copyright law is getting way out of hand. Thank you, Walt Disney. (Seriously. I am in no way qualified to talk to you about copyright law. You should watch the documentary instead.)

In other, sadder news, Etta James passed away. She was famous for “At Last”, but this is my favourite of her songs. And, since SOPA didn’t pass, I am still able to share it with you.

YouTube