Why you should support SOPA and PIPA
The far-reaching effects of the Stop Online Piracy Act (house) and the Protect IP Act (senate) are being discussed throughout the internet right now- just as they should be. I wish every bill our leaders bring to the table fell under the same public scrutiny. I, however, don’t need to add to the discussion of global implications, I want to discuss just one. One implication has made me support SOPA: Grooveshark
You see, if SOPA passes, I want to own Grooveshark.com
It’s not about fairness or liberty or innovation, really. My support for SOPA comes strictly from the fact that it wouldn’t be difficult for me to own Grooveshark once these bills pass.
If you’re not familiar with Grooveshark, here’s their business plan in a nutshell:
- Allow users to post and distribute MP3’s of any band they like
- Whatever the users don’t post, Grooveshark will post for them
- Ignore DMCA takedown requests, court orders, and lawsuits
- Don’t pay any royalties to labels or indie musicians.
Don’t ask me how a site like this gained any legitimacy, but for some reason tons of people think Grooveshark actually supports the music it’s using to sell ads and subscriptions. There’s a reason they’ve been sued by every major label and why independents like Zoë Keating have had to issue DMCA takedown notices upwards of seven times. Just like the United States Congress, Grooveshark has become a respected batch of pirates that nobody seems to sense as a threat.
How SOPA Can Help
Under the terms of the SOPA bill (yes, I’ve read it, have you?), pretty much any site on the internet becomes a site that facilitates piracy. My dad’s blog about shit he finds on the beach in Washington? Total pirate haven. Forget YouTube, Wikipedia, and of course Grooveshark, any site with a comments section falls under this bill’s definition.
All I’d have to do is issue a notice to sites associated with Grooveshark under the new law. You read that correctly, I don’t even have to inform the site I’m attacking. At that point those sites have 5 days to stop servicing Grooveshark- Paypal, Google, whomever. If Grooveshark doesn’t somehow sense they’re being targeted via some disturbance in the force, they’ll probably keep violating copyrights and ripping off musicians as though nothing had happened.
At that point, I can literally own their domain name through a simple court procedure. I wouldn’t get their bank accounts or assets, but think about all the traffic I could funnel directly to my website through their more popular name. Hell, I could just point Grooveshark.com to my Pandora Radio station since Pandora actually pays royalties to guys like me.
If Grooveshark bothered to notice and tried to defend themselves, it’d be even better. Since every site- even mine -is now a Pirate Bay, they’d be perjuring themselves the second they tried to claim otherwise. That means jail time for their directors and executives, but SOPA adds a bonus: They would immediately be responsible for my legal fees. I could hire the ten best lawyers on the planet and let Grooveshark pick up the tab.
How You Can Help
You too can help me own Grooveshark.com – it will be a simple matter. Besides, if you don’t help me, I’ll just own your domain name instead. It will be far, far easier than you can imagine and you will have no legal recourse to fight these claims.
If you doubt any of this, I suggest you educate yourself on SOPA/PIPA right now… though I wouldn’t recommend it. Congress and their friends at the MPAA/RIAA are counting on you NOT knowing what the hell is going on in order to pass these bills.
So you’re better off joining my quest to own Grooveshark. Just tell your representatives how you feel about SOPA/PIPA and together we can make this happen!