Following the blackout of many popular sites (including my own) on January 18th 2012 as an opposition to SOPA and PIPA, I would like to express my thoughts on these pieces of legislature.
As a creator of digital content, I have had my work thieved, pirated, and streamed. This is of course upsetting. It is exactly as if the thieves are telling you they do not appreciate the work you put into your art, and they don’t think you should be able to earn a living from it.
On the other hand, if I had a physical store location with tangible products for sale, I would have already calculated a small percent of loss to theft as simply a part of doing business. To be blunt, the amount of financial loss due to digital transfer is barely above the amount of financial loss stores experience due to shoplifting.
Restricting freedom is never an appropriate means of attempting to curb theft.
Have you ever watched something on YouTube? If SOPA or PIPA pass, YouTube will be shut down.
Have you ever purchased something from Amazon or eBay? If SOPA or PIPA pass, Amazon and eBay will be severely limited.
Do you like looking at cute pictures and videos of kitties online? If SOPA or PIPA pass, sites that host pictures will have to monitor all content. Virtually no new user uploaded content would be able to be hosted just in case it contained something that might be copyrighted, even something as simple as a poster or music in the background.