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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SOPA

Julian Sanchez explains how the copyright industry arguments about the need for SOPA are based on inflated numbers.  Bottom line:  those industries might be responsible for a few hundred thousand jobs in our economy, or about 0.4% of the economy.  Why is it that THEY get to tell Congress what laws to write?

And more important, are those jobs really threatened?  He gives statistics showing that the movie industry's revenues have been essentially constant over the last ten years.  People are still going to movies.  And now they are downloading them -- and paying for them -- to their Kindle Fires and other platforms.  

Yes, there are rogue sites off-shore that offer movies to US citizens, and some US citizens -- mostly kids -- take advantage of that.  That's too bad, but it's not destroying the movie industry.  Most citizens pay for their movies, and pay quite a bit.  The kids will grow out of it. 

Relatedly, I've seen statistics -- in the book Screwed, by Thom Hartmann, as well as on-line -- that say that the recording industry and the movie industry in the US are over 70% foreign-owned.  I haven't been able to verify those independently, but have no reason to doubt them.

And, as Glen Greenwald points out, the industries already have the power to shut down any number of sites.  Just call the Justice Department.  Or MegaUpload.

Also infuriating is Greenwald's column on Chris Dodd -- the politician who said he'd never be a lobbyist, who now is making millions as President of the MPAA, lobbying for SOPA.






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