Originally posted by Great King Rat
Measures such as SOPA wouldn't be necessary if people stopped up- and downloading all kinds of stuff without paying for it. Wikipedia itself also follows these rules by warning not to put anything on it that is protected by copyright.
SOPA, is not 'necessary'. It would not stop people downloading stuff, but would instead cause even more abuse of the law by the US media industry than is already taking place.
Even the current laws are ridiculous. The current state of affairs in the world today is that everyone who uses a computer or cellphone, is guaranteed to run afoul of a copyright law sooner or later (usually sooner and frequently). This basically means that we live in a society where law breaking is normal. We are all criminals. We know we are. We expect to always be so. We teach our children that it is acceptable.
Its like putting 20km/h speed limits on the highway then allowing everyone to go at 120km/h.
Let me also give an example of the current abuse of the copyright laws:
Here in SA, it is illegal to monitor my online activity.
However, if someone in the USA, picks up my public IP address on a torrent site somewhere in Europe, they can write a letter to my ISP to say I was downloading copyrighted material.
My ISP, without verifying the source of the complaint, the complainants credentials, the claimants actual ownership of the material in question, or even whether or not I did or did not download the material, will proceed to threaten me with disconnection from the internet. I won't get a trial. I won't be legally charged with anything. I will be summarily judged guilty on the word of an anonymous person in the US.