The question of fact is difficult to answer as it is an attempt to prove a negative: How do we know how many copies of a work pirates would have bought if they hadn’t pirated? How do we know how many more people discovered and bought a work because it was pirated? How do we differentiate between shrinking industry sales caused by piracy or by a new abundance of competition?
The matter of principles is this: Where will the White House and government put their priorities: in protecting the interests of a shrinking industry or in protecting the interests of innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic expansion? Will they favor protecting the interests of a closed industry or the freedom of speech?
Bills like SOPA and PIPA don’t work because they are written by people who do not understand the Internet. SOPA was written by the entertainment industry as a catch-all maneuver to combat piracy.
The problem is that the bill is so vague that it allows for the take-down of legitimate websites and services and undermines existing provisions in the DMCA. It grants not only the government but also private organizations to block web addresses with little more than an accusation.
Without doubt, SOPA/PIPA will be be a devastating blow not only to the tech sector, but to jobs, security and innovation.
Also: End Piracy, Not Liberty