While the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is being debated by the chattering classes in the technology and entertainment industries, Charles Segars, co-creator and executive producer of Disney’s “National Treasure” movie franchise and CEO of Ovation issues the following statement on the SOPA legislation before the U.S. Congress.
“This week, the Internet flexed its collective muscle and some 10,000 websites went dark in protest of the proposed legislation that has been introduced to protect the copyrights of music, film, television and books we all know and love. They’re calling the SOPA bill “censorship” and an infringement of our First Amendment rights. And the entertainment industry is painted as “greedy” for supporting this legislation.
“But I wonder … what would happen if all the movie theaters, cable and broadcast channels, book stores and radio stations did the same thing — went completely dark, off the air, closed their doors. Would you miss Wikipedia more than, say, being able to watch ‘American Idol’ or go to AMC theaters and see the latest movie in 3D? Would it take a total shut down to make the point that entertainment content is something of value and therefore needs protecting?
“As a writer and producer, I believe SOPA is the first step in protecting my rights, and my copyrighted content from being stolen by digital thieves. Theft is not a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is not a form of self-expression. It’s stealing, plain and simple. But because this theft has become so pervasive in our digital society, many have come to believe that it is acceptable. IT IS NOT! You wouldn’t expect your mechanic to repair your car for free or farmers to give you free food. Content, like other goods and services, is valuable and that’s why digital thieves are out to steal it. The internet shouldn’t make it easy for pirates by letting them hide behind the First Amendment.”
The statement was issued Friday, Jan. 20.[ Raman Media Network comments: The business models of most tech companies that oppose SOPA are based on content lifting and stealing. Under the garb of “freedom of expression,” they also encourage consumers to lift and share content with others without the permission of original content creators in order to build digital communities for the growth of their shady businesses.
The owners of all such digital / online companies are criminals and must be punished. All freewheeling content sharing on social networking and content aggregation websites must be stopped immediately. Content is the most precious commodity in the world. So, consumers must give all due respect to content creators and fee for using their content. ]