Clay Shirky Video: Why SOPA is a Bad Idea

Last night, I watched an incredibly fascinating TED talk by Clay Shirky on the dangers of SOPA/PIPA.

As of last week, it looks like SOPA and Protect IP are dead, but dead for the time being. I’m sure they’ll return in some other form – but whether they’ll be as dangerous or problematic the next time around remains to be seen.

Shirky does a remarkable job articulating the history and the problem of copyright violation, and why measures like SOPA/PIPA are incredibly problematic. He is clear, concise, and is able to summarize a complex topic and make it digestible. More than that, he’s able to describe the inherent problems way better than anyone else I’ve read or heard. Here’s an example:

So what PIPA and SOPA risk doing is taking a centuries-old legal concept, innocent until proven guilty, and reversing it — guilty until proven innocent. You can’t share until you show us that you’re not sharing something we don’t like.

At a mere 14 minutes, his TED talk is well worth the time. If you’ve missed what all the grumbling has been about on the Internet about SOPA and blackouts… Shirky’s talk encapsulates a lot. I encourage you to check this out, so that you’re ready when the next versions of SOPA/PIPA emerge.

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