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SOPA/PIPA: How do you think book copyrights should be protected?
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:24 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 224

I wasn't really sure where to post this, but as it deals with the internet, it seemed like the best place.

For those of you unaware, the Protect IP Act and Stop Online Piracy Act are designed to help protect movies, music, and even authors to keep their works safe from online piracy.

But in the act of doing so, it will invoke an American firewall, just like the type implemented in China and Iran.

On one hand, it will offer authors a bit of protection by completely removing websites that have links to pirated material. This includes novels.

I like the idea of having my novels protected. I like the idea that copyright is taken seriously. However, I do not want sites removed because of what their users do. Google could be shut down because of someone who has pirated things on their site.

This could include fanfiction sites because some authors hate fanfiction of their works. (Which is a different kettle of water altogether, but it illustrates the possibility that one of the venues many people start getting into writing could be completely abolished.)

If censorship isn't the answer to protecting works, what do you feel is a solution?

As someone who may one day have a copyright to protect, I want to be protected. I do not want to be protected at this cost.

What do you feel about SOPA/PIPA, and what do you think should be done to protect author copyrights?
Angela Martello
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 7:05 PM
Joined: 8/21/2011
Posts: 394

In theory, I agree with SOPA/PIPA - authors, composers, artists have the right to have their works protected. And, like you, if I ever get my books published, I would like to know that their copyright is safe and sound. I don't think that legislation that's basically borderline censorship is the answer. It can go horribly awry - as we have seen in places like China and Iran.

What is the answer? Technology, for one, I think. Better, smarter anti-piracy technology. Sure, just like with anti-virus and ant-spam software, there will also be hackers who occasionally might be a step ahead of any really effective anti-piracy technology, who will cause problems that will have to be addressed technologically.

As for individuals who violate copyrights. There are already laws on the books about that. What difference does it make if these individuals violate the law in print or in cyberspace? If they're caught, they should be dealt within the confines of the law. The site or sites involved could also "punish" copyright violators by blocking their usage, revoking their membership, etc. There is no reason for the entire site to be removed because of user actions - unless, of course, the site operators were well aware of the activity and condoned and/or blatantly encouraged it.

GD Deckard
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:33 PM
Angela is exactly right, there are already laws against copywrite violations. Making 3rd parties responsible for policing violations is just bad government.

The sanction that worked against online gambling, stopping credit card companies from doing business with the casinos, might slow down content pirates. But in the end, only the governments of the countries where these pirates operate can effectively police them.

Censoring sites from other countries so Americans can't use them might be acceptable to the Chinese, but it is not to me.
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:47 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 224

As I was thinking about this more and more today, I also realized that this has the potential to significantly impact the publishing industry. Why?

Users have the ability to self-publish books for Nook, Kindle, etc. This would put them _directly_ under the influence of SOPA/PIPA.

In turn, that means sites like Amazon and B&N could be completely eliminated as we know it. Fortunately, it seems like the legislation is at risk of melt-down -- at least in its current form -- but the fight isn't over yet.

I think I would rather have my book pirated and inspire a reader to love books than I would want to see the country of my birth fall to policies that put America on par with some countries of the middle east and with China.

It just scares me overall.
A J Hart
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 2:43 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 26

I agree with you RJ, if someone liked my book enough to obtain a pirated copy of it and that book inspired them to be a writer, a reader, an astronaut or what ever then my mission is accomplished. I'm also one of those silly people who dont care about money. I'd rather a kid pirate a copy of my at-the-moment-unpublished-book if they cant afford to buy a copy, then have them not read because they cant aford it. 

As a writer I am of course all for the laws of copyright protection and as G D Deckarg already pointed out, we already have laws for this kind of stuff. Do the laws need a revision, prehaps (espically if people feel their works are not protected). But shutting down most of the internet is uncalled for and having someone tell me what I can and cannot look at does not sit well. 
Richard de Meath
Posted: Monday, September 10, 2012 9:06 PM
Joined: 8/22/2012
Posts: 9

It is said that imitation is the highest form of all flattery, so if someone cares enough about my writing to copy it, I guess that is a compliment.
As for the question of money, if it comes - it comes, if not, then I have lost nothing.  Writing is a pleasure and to my mind that is without price!