This quote from Chris Dodd (article here) really caught my attention.
“We need to engage in a far better education process. People need to know … that 98% of people who work in the entertainment industry make $55,000 a year. They’re not moguls and they’re not walking red carpets.”
Mr. Dodd gave this quote in defense of the recent SOPA/PIPA legislative attempt. The reason it stood out to me, and the same reason it upsets me, is because this is more or less true. The vast majority of folk in the entertainment industry are just working out a modest living; and not a single organizer/serious-participant in the SOPA/PIPA project needs to be “educated” about this. If any efforts were being made to protect these people or their livelihoods, most of us techies would be all ears and supportive.
But that’s not what SOPA/PIPA are. These two bills were designed to assist that ~1-2% who are moguls better capture all possible use-value of entertainment. Contrary to the heartless pirate image Mr. Dodd and his fellows like to portray the bulk of us as, we don’t believe that entertainment should inherently be free, and the most of us aren’t even opposed to the existence and enforcement of copyrights. Of course a content creator and producer should be able to earn a living from what they put out there. The problem we have comes from this notion that the only alternative to starving artists creating film and music purely as a labor of love, is allowing a ridiculously small number of corporations to hold absolute control over the use and profit of our culture.
SOPA/PIPA represent this massively anti-free-market, anti-creativity, corporatist effort to cripple new mediums and bleed any potential value out of the old, at the cost of any and all progress. And for Mr. Dodd to operate under the pretense that any of it was meant to defend the working class, non-moguls, isn’t just absurd and bold, it’s insulting.