Depois da saga do SOPA/PIPA, Joel Spolsky deixou no seu G+ umas boas observações sobre o que se deve seguir:
The internet seems to ignore legislation until somebody tries to take something away from us… then we carefully defend that one thing and never counter-attack. Then the other side says, “OK, compromise,” and gets half of what they want. That’s not the way to win… that’s the way to see a steady and continuous erosion of rights online.
The solution is to start lobbying for our own laws. It’s time to go on the offensive if we want to preserve what we’ve got. Let’s force the RIAA and MPAA to use up all their political clout just protecting what they have. Here are some ideas we should be pushing for:
* Elimination of software patents
* Legal fees paid by the loser in patent cases; non-practicing entities must post bond before they can file fishing expedition lawsuits
* Roll back length of copyright protection to the minimum necessary “to promote the useful arts.” Maybe 10 years?
* Create a legal doctrine that merely linking is protected free speech
* And ponies. We want ponies. We don’t have to get all this stuff. We merely have to tie them up fighting it, and re-center the “compromise” position.
Pouquíssimo tempo depois dessa saga, o MegaUpload foi internacionalmente esventrado. Nas palavras de Glenn Greenwald, isso apenas serve para mostrar que apesar de terem sido por agora evitados, na prática o USG já tem o poder para fazer o que a SOPA/PIPA pretendiam legislar:
In other words, many SOPA opponents were confused and even shocked when they learned that the very power they feared the most in that bill — the power of the U.S. Government to seize and shut down websites based solely on accusations, with no trial — is a power the U.S. Government already possesses and, obviously, is willing and able to exercise even against the world’s largest sites (they have this power thanks to the the 2008 PRO-IP Act pushed by the same industry servants in Congress behind SOPA as well as by forfeiture laws used to seize the property of accused-but-not-convicted drug dealers).
E naquele que é um dos maiores exemplos de hipocrisia e falta de escrúpulos que vi nos últimos anos, o lobby do copyright volta à carga, com a desculpa de estar a “proteger as crianças”:
But taking one step back, would censorship of child pornography be acceptable in the first place? Is the copyright industry perhaps justified in this particular pursuit, beyond their real goal of blocking non-monopolistic distribution?
There are two layers of answers to that. The first is the principal one, whether pre-trial censorship is ever correct. History tells us that it plainly isn’t, not under any circumstance.
But more emotionally, we turn to a German group named Mogis. It is a support group for adult people who were abused as children, and is the only one of its kind. They are very outspoken and adamant on the issue of censoring child pornography.
Censorship hides the problem and causes more children to be abused, they say. Don’t close your eyes, but see reality and act on it. As hard as it is to force oneself to be confronted emotionally with this statement, it is rationally understandable that a problem can’t be addressed by hiding it. One of their slogans is “Crimes should be punished and not hidden”.
This puts the copyright industry’s efforts in perspective. In this context they don’t care in the slightest about children, only about their control over distribution channels. If you ever thought you knew cynical, this takes it to a whole new level.
Finalmente, para se perceber como foi possível chegar até este estado de coisas, a seguinte palestra do TED ilustra o caminho que se seguiu desde de bem antes da internet e do mundo digital. Se tiverem 15 minutos, é tempo bem empregue.
Adenda: cada vez que me encontro a discutir estes temas, a confusão recorrente é entre direitos morais e direitos legais. A diferença está bem explicada aqui.