The Humane Society of the United States

"Consumer group accuses Hollywood of 'threatening politicians'"

01/20/12 By Brendan Sasso

A Comment...

Low cost modern technology and infrastructure have eliminated much of the need for artistic production middlemen like those that dominate the MPAA and RIAA, the organizations intimidating congress into passing the PIPA/SOPA legislation. Those companies have traditionally provided the capital and other resources for expensive recording, production and distribution facilities that can today be replaced by a few thousand dollars worth of computer equipment and The Internet.

While it may still be wise to take advantage of much of the expertise traditionally supplied by these companies, it's seldom worth the kind of exorbitant prices the industry has been paying.

We are witnessing the death of a business model. That's never pretty.

Like mortally wounded animals, those who have built empires on it will lash out with their dying gasps in any way they can to survive.

Who, with an ounce of compassion could begrudge them the effort?

But, just as if we were watching some poor animal, we protect ourselves while letting nature take its course.

Many who have known and loved these creatures of the industrial era quite naturally are moved to try to save them, while we who have lived with the new technology for many years know that their virtual extinction is inevitable.

Online copyright infringement is assuredly a major problem. PIPA/SOPA supporters however, have chosen to publicly focus on foreign perpetrators only in order to head off opposition were the public to know that no such distinction between domestic and foreign infringement exists in the bills.

We want to encourage and support creativity and innovation while minimizing copycats. Creativity and innovation comes from artists, writers, composers, programmers and other creators. PIPA/SOPA would make it much more difficult for these people to eliminate the now unneeded middlemen and bring their creations directly to their audiences.

Congress must not be intimidated by these fading business creatures.

Just stand back, let them exhaust themselves, and make way for the future.

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An Open Letter to Senator Bill Nelson of Florida

I was very disappointed to learn of your cosponsorship of the PIPA legislation in the Senate (companion to the House SOPA legislation). I've been an enthusiastic supporter of yours for many years, so I'm desparate to believe that you have been grossly misled as to the impact of this kind of legislation.

The Internet is the printing press of our day. WikiLeaks may be our "Pentagon Papers". If moguls like William Randolf Hearst, who by their wealth wielded the kind of power PIPA/SOPA gives all copyright holders, had existed in 1787 The Federalist Papers might never have been published. In today's America, just the existance PIPA/SOPA laws would cause the vast majority of personal, small business, charitable organization and certainly most all free websites to be closed for fear of a take-down for unintentional infringement leading to a lawsuit.

The Internet is the only tool left us to fight "The 1%". I fear the chill PIPA/SOPA would place on the last vestiges of our democracy would be the final nail in the coffin of The American Dream.

Please don't silence our final gasps for freedom... withdraw your support of PIPA.

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"Still don't think open source hurts commercial software? Guess again"

A Comment...

Open Source is becoming a radical challenge for premium software companies that depend on what are now exorbitant prices.

These companies have been built on the cornerstone of customer lock-in. Once deployed, their large, complex, expensive products are usually too unwieldy and too costy to replace except as part of a massive system architecture upgrade as we were forced to do for Y2K.

How can a company excel if it's not free to do things differently from its competition? The high cost of enhancements to one of these installations keep most somewhere near the basic package. This stifles innovation and competitiveness.

In short, these premium companies have priced themselves out of the market.

Open Source software, while free in initial price, does have costs that many a CIO has yet to appreciate. Though at least as reliable (usually more so) as its commercial counterparts, Open Source software is largely developed by and for programmers and thus requires a deeper level programming and system administration expertise to maintain. That usually means more, and more experienced, and thus more expensive staff.

Here are two simple rules of thumb in deciding between commercial and open source software...

If you have more money than expertise, buy commercial.

If you have more expertise than money, use open source.

If software in no way effects your competitiveness, buy commercial like everyone else.

If software can in any way effect your competitiveness, use open source for the freedom it gives you to innovate.

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