Books, the Internet & The American Way: Stop SOPA

This country was founded on some basic, enduring principles that were embedded in both the Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution. Two of these core principles are equality and capitalism. And these two principles have allowed our country to thrive, to develop what has been a healthy economy where wonderful products such as personal computers, and other innovations have been developed.  It is a country in which people are permitted to make their own choices – what to wear, who to hang out with, and even whether to commit a crime. Yes, even that is a choice we have.

The internet is the greatest equalizing force humankind has ever seen. It gives people access to ideas, music, art and books that they may otherwise have never known of. It gives artists the chance to get their work out there, to a exponentially larger audience then they could otherwise reach in their own hometown. And it avoids the censorship of corporate mavens determining what people should be exposed to or what will sell. Let the people decide what they want, and what they will pay for. It is the American way.

Services like Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Facebook and many others are a necessary feature of an internet that embodies American ideals. Asking them to monitor all of their content and links for possible piracy will be crippling. None of us, especially those of us producing music or books or art, are in favor of piracy. But let’s fact it – it isn’t that big a problem. This is the shoplifting of the internet.

And there is an upside to this shoplifting. Like the kid who steals a candy bar from the grocery store, some of the people who download illegal copies of a book do it for the thrill of thumbing their nose at our laws. Not a good thing, but they wouldn’t have purchased the book anyway. No sale was lost. But unlike the candy bar kid who eats the product and its gone, others download a pirated copy because they are curious about the book. They read some or all of it, and you know what most of these people do if they like what they read? They BUY it!  They understand the need to support the artist or author whose work they hold on their electronic device. Not only that, they tell their friends, maybe even share that illegal copy so their friends can experience it, then buy it for themselves. Again, I am not in favor of piracy, but in a strange way, it actually promotes sales.

PlotForge will always be on the lookout for sites illegally distributing our products and take steps to stop them. That’s our job, not Google’s. The terms of SOPA and PIPA as being currently considered by Congress will crippling the pipelines of the internet through which the people can make their choices, and decide for themselves which products are worthy of their financial support.

Join us in telling Congress to go back and study the founding principles of our country.  Join us in stopping SOPA.

Thank you.




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One Response to Books, the Internet & The American Way: Stop SOPA

  1. Andrew Smiles says:

    To add to the wonderful sentiment above, many of the people that do pirate things are legitimate users, who’ve been put in a situation where pirating whatever media they want is far easier than trying to buy it through traditional methods. Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem with e-books, however, many of these books still have DRM protection. This says that all you own is the right to use that book in the manner they see fit. This creates a another section of pirates looking for content that they can use different places, i.e. watching a movie on your computer vs. burning it to a disc to watch on a TV.

    I sincerely respect plotforge for encouraging people to share their content and for not using DRM protection.

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