“American Copyright: Will Government Go Too Far?” SXSW 1

This panel discussed an issue that became very heated as the talk went along.   Apparently, last year during SXSW 2011 the White House IP Coordinator released a whitepaper (I don’t know what this is and neither does Google) basically stating that there is a need for stronger and higher punishment for piracy against copyright and increased international protection against pirates. So, in other words, the prerequisite to SOPA and PIPA.  And, of course, big media right holders are calling for this abysmal act because there is “economic harm” occurring.  Not necessarily, ladies and gents, these people just want to buy another ridiculous car or house in the Hamptons.  This panel was fantastic in the sense that there was a diversity of ideology on this issue.  Three lawyers, two on the corporate side, allowed for proper terminology and the correct definition of copyright rights allowed for the discussion to be factual and for everyone to make the proper arguments.  One panelist was owner of the website Copybyte which monitors content online and tracking infringement and/or plagiarism.  Last, was the owner of iFroggy who monitors a site that manages online forums- also known as open sources.  As you can see, this discussion was well balanced to deliver a great discussion and some heated bits.


Overall, it came down to how to monitor online content and even if SOPA and PIPA were enacted would they really be able to fix the current copyright problem?  Does America join a firewall like China?  Or do we stick to our liberties?  My favorite part was the discussion between whether corporate needed protection or if it were more important for the creators to be able to keep creating.


I actually started giggling to myself when they questioned if the concern for privacy outweighs the threat to “health and safety” of American consumers.  If I have a right to freedom I have a right to privacy, they can go hand-in-hand.  I enjoyed the fact that they actually consider us meager folk over monetary gain all over the place, but to create such emotional BS to swoon the argument is ridiculous.  American’s aren’t stupid and I feel we get this perception because we are sheep when it comes to consumerism.  And at the end of the day, we as the consumer will be the corporation’s assets to monetary gain so more respect needs to be given here.  We as the Americans have been able to swoon public policy and rights, I think if a majority of us do get educated on the (personal opinionated) subjectivity of what our copyright law is doing a change can be made.  I left after half of the Q&A because I just had enough.


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