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I helped support SOPA / PIPA / ACTA and DMCA... And I'm ashamed.

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Last night I did a little bit of thinking about ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and the DMCA. I started to feel overly disgusted with the MPAA, RIAA and their affiliated labels and studios. I felt disgusted with the way that our politicians are bought and sold with lobbying dollars by the industry. Then I had a horrible realization; I helped fund these very things that I despise. I helped fund the studios and thereby the industry associations through my media purchasing history. For every dollar I spent buying media, most of that was going to line the pockets of the industry.

I used to be a HUGE movie fan. Going back over a decade I would buy DVDs like they were gold bars being sold at half-price. I subscribed to the Columbia House DVD club and let them send me their movie of the month, every months for YEARS. I was buying batches of movies 5-8 at a time from various online retailers. I have spent TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars on movies and by proxy, delivered this money to the very people who now treat me like a criminal and assume that I'm just a "freetard" because I don't support the legislation that the industry purchased from our politicians.

Penance is in order….

I have several hundred movies on DVD, all purchased legitimately. I have another hundred DVDs full of box-sets of TV shows that I really enjoyed. So we're talking about a LOT of media here.

Here's the real question: What can I do with all this media that will allow more people to view and enjoy it WITHOUT putting further dollars in the pockets of those who buy our politicians and expect them to act AGAINST the wishes of the population to benefit corporations? I thought about selling the whole collection on eBay to give someone else the opportunity to view all this content without purchasing; but there has GOT to be a better way…..

I have no interest in making money with this media transfer. I simply want to allow others to view and enjoy the content in a manner that does NOT support these industry shills. With that in mind; I started thinking about donating it all to a local library. With that sort of donation, a HUGE population of people will have the opportunity to view the content without additional expense and I'll feel good about it in the process.

This is going to happen one way or another, I just want to make sure I'm getting the most bang for my buck.

UPDATE: It's done. I just returned from the library and had a GREAT conversation with the people there. Not only do they understand and support the opposition to legislation like SOPA and PIPA, but they really appreciated what I was doing for them and the community in terms of making this content available to those who may not be able to view it otherwise.

The backups I made of my DVDs on my media server are also gone now as well. Format completed.

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  1. Skud's Avatar
    Good choice.

    I wouldn't say you were "supporting" the legislation - as you were just being an honest consumer. I have not met a single person who supports SOPA/PIPA. Not a single one. How any of this kind of legislation got so far is beyond me. I think it's just Congressmen and Senators that are really out of touch with their constituents. Which is sad, because it took a massive uproar for them to realize "wait, maybe this legislation isn't a good idea"

    I wrote my congressman and he actually took the time to give me a detailed reply and why he did not support SOPA.

    I think, ultimately, the lesson to be gained here is that WE THE PEOPLE still have MASSIVE INFLUENCE. We should use it MUCH more often than we do. It took some evil crap for people to finally pay attention to the legislative branch. The general population focuses entirely too much on the executive branch - it's one piece, but only one.

    Hopefully these recent events get people more involved. I don't care how, just more involved in general. You don't have to be super informed to talk with your congressmen! They are here to serve us, in the end. And if they're not? Vote. Them. Out.
  2. Athanasa's Avatar
    I do not support SOPA / PIPA, because... well, America's free to police the internet on websites hosted in the US (.com), but as far as I'm concerned they should stay out of websites not hosted in the US (.co.uk for example). Otherwise it's... well, an invasion of the internet. It's just throwing the country's political weight around.

    I support some of the ideas behind it - stopping piracy, allowing honest purchases of digital material - but not the execution.

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