Thursday, January 19, 2012

Congress' SOPA Opera -- Jon Stewart's VIDEO "Take" -- And My "Two Cents"

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Ahh, yes, the SOPA debate -- everyone is an expert and has an opinion. But, how many of us have done more than read brief summaries of the proposed legislation? (Here is Gigaom's "SOPA for Dummies" primer). I know I haven't, and I am a former (and reformed) IP attorney (as well as former major studio/content executive at Universal Studios and New Line Cinema). As just one example, did you know that SOPA apparently is focused on foreign-based websites (according to the Wall Street Journal)?

And, yes, this video is legally being shared on my blog via the sponsored embed code from Jon's own Daily Show site!

(For the record, I personally oppose SOPA and its Senate companion legislation PIPA because I know enough about legislators and media companies to know that, if nothing else, the proposed legislation is imprecise, ambiguous and severely overly broad in terms of its scope and the hammer that legislation wields -- not to mention the fact purported violators can be found to be "guilty before proven innocent" and suffer the potentially significant consequences. While I understand the sentiments behind the legislation -- and the justifiable concerns of content creators -- these are not the right weapons to fight the IP infringement war. You simply can't sue all infringers or purportedly infringing sites. Rather, the best defense is a great offense -- i.e., provide superior and unmatchable authorized and licensed web experiences; if you build it, people will come. To wit -- Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu. And, remember, we are still very early in the online video game.)