Duff McKagan Asks “Where Are The Fans,The Lovers Of Music?”
In his column on SeattleWeekly.com, Duff McKagan finds himself questioning certain media bolstered outrage of this past week, over the future of internet regulations. " I, like every other American," he begins, "was inundated with verbiage about anti-piracy legislation known as PIPA and SOPA."
Calling out the internet protest-lite of this legislation which had sites like Wikipedia shut down for 24 hours in protest. Duff asks "Excuse me, but where were you all when piracy started to decimate the music industry? Why didn't you take a stand against that? Those free records felt good, huh? Where are the "fans," the lovers of music? Why have they never stood up and taken a stand for the men and women in front of and behind the microphone?"
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) are an attempt to combat the ongoing theft of music and movie content over the internet. The bills propose that anyone found guilty of streaming copyrighted content without permission 10 or more times within six months should face up to five years in jail. In addition, it would provide owners of the content the right to seek court orders against any site accused of enabling or facilitating piracy. Don't you love the language of legalese!
McKagan asks "Should the government be able to shut down Facebook because one user posts a link to copyrighted content? Of course not. But should Facebook and Google do a better job monitoring - and stop profiteering off- their users' access to illegal content? Absolutely. And, you know what, they're smart enough to figure it out." Maybe Duff is pondering the 'what if they had taken Lars Ulrich more seriously way back when' question, but at this point that ever loving genie is long out of the bottle.
When some sites went dark in protest, was it really a rallying cry, or something less noble you may ask? McKagan hits it here saying "Are people really actually pissed off because Wikipedia is going 'black' for a day? Because people feel that their First Amendment rights are really being threatened? Or is it because they're afraid of losing free access to Deadwood and the Black Keys?"
Duff is well aware of the wire walking someone like him has to do in this regard. "Yes, yes, this is all boring, right?" he goes on, "It's typical that the 'rich rock guy' would be spouting from his golden pulpit. But let me tell you something, the working stiffs at recording studios and record stores that have had to close thanks to rampant internet piracy never were rich, but they are out of a job." So true. Technology giveth and technology taketh away!
As of now, both the SOPA and PIPA bills have been postponed in the US Congress.