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SOPA Can't Stop Me

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					                                      Adreana Langston


                                                                     SOPA Can’t Stop Me
                                                                                                                     Why I intend to keep pirating




            Chris            Dodd thinks stealing creative
                             content is wrong. I don’t
necessarily agree. Dodd is a former U.S. Senator and
                                                             sure that consumers of bootleg DVDs could do a better to destroy an entire genre by buying illegally obtained
                                                             job of sucking economic opportunity out of Southern content. In April 2001 People magazine ran an article
                                                             California than the film studios are already doing. In (http://bitly.com/A3in3x) which was actually a
the current CEO of the Motion Picture Association Of         April 2004 YaleGlobal published an article titled The follow up article to People’s March 1996 special report
America. He has been giving a lot of speeches lately         Hollowing-Out Of Hollywood (http:// bitly.com/yVYGzS). (http://bitly.com/xtEEfm) on the continued exclusion of
promoting the passage of the Stop Online Piracy              The article sites a report on runaway production African-Americans from the movie industry. Hollywood
Act (SOPA). The law supposedly gives The Justice             commissioned by the Directors Guild of America and the Blackout: The Sequel states that there have been some
Department tools to take down websites whose purpose         Screen Actors Guild. According to the report “runaways gains since 1996, but those gains were moderate at
is to host pirated content. Critics claim that the way the   have increased from 14 percent of total US film and best. “Even with those increases, blacks, who make up
law is written would result in the takedown of websites      television productions in 1990 to 27 percent in 1998. about 13 percent of the U.S. population and 25 percent
that are not dedicated to distributing stolen work.          They have a total negative economic impact of over of moviegoers, are still severely underrepresented
Companies invested in the content industry, such as the      $10 billion a year. Today                                                                   behind the scenes
National Association Of Theatre Owners, have banded          the practice has reached                                                                    in          Hollywood.
together to lobby Congress for the passage of HR 3261        what the Los Angeles             I see the movie industry running                           Only 3.5 percent of
(http://www.bitly.com/xsd75c). While companies               Times calls “epidemic”               away from Southern California                          screen-writers’ guild
invested in the Internet, such as Google and Facebook,       levels and involves                  productions in general and                             members are African-
are lobbying against the passage of the bill. Whether        many big-budget, high-               walking away from employing                            American, and just
or not the bill passes, I intend to keep pirating creative   profile pictures like the            people from the Black community                        5.4 percent of guild
content.                                                     Academy-Award                        in particular. This does not leave                     movie-directing jobs
             Dodd, and Jack Valenti before him, both         winning “Chicago”.” Fast             me feeling very vested.                                go to blacks. The
claimed that by consuming pirated creative content           forward to July 2010.                                                                       figures are even lower
I was destroying economic opportunity in my home             TheWrap.com                                                                                 for the notoriously
region, Southern California. The gist of their argument      posted       an      article                                                                discriminatory
was that if I decreased the profit that film studios and     (http://bitly.com/xYcaMg) about another report technical unions, which control access to jobs such as
record labels were able to recoup on their investments       titled Film Flight: Lost Production and Its Economic camera operator and sound technician.” Fast forward
in movies and music, I’d eventually cause them to            Impact On California. “The report stated California again to December 2010 during which NPR did a story
stop making such investments. Well I believed Dodd           had lost 10,600 entertainment industry jobs, more (http://n.pr/wpmlLt) that indicates those moderate
and Valenti, at first. In 2011 I purchased bootleg DVD       than 25,000 related jobs, $2.4 billion in wages and gains were not consistently repeated in the years
versions of both Transformer films, The Mechanic, G.I.       $4.2 billion in total economic output since 1997 between 2001 and 2010.
Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Columbiana, Salt and Cowboys and     due to runaway film and TV production to other                        Dodd wants me to feel vested enough in
Aliens. One of the reasons I purchased bootleg copies is     states and countries.” If I keep checking back to the the movie-industry-as-SoCal-job-creator meme that
I simply refused to give the movie industry any of my        www.stop-runaway-production.com website I bet it I choose to purchase content through legal channels
money for these films. I watched them on the computer        won’t be long before there is another report stating that rather than through the bootleg DVD guy at the
while I did chores like ironing clothes, folding laundry,    the runaway production situation in Southern California barbershop. When I give $5.00 to the bootleg DVD guy at
or waiting for my nail polish to dry. I didn’t even keep     has not vastly improved.                                  the barbershop for two DVDs, he turns around and uses it
the DVDs. I threw them in the trash or gave them away.                    I paid to view 2 Fast 2 Furious even though to tip the Black barber who cut his hair. The barber turns
Now I’m skeptical of Dodd and Valenti’s claims. My effort    it could arguably be categorized in the mindless action around and uses it to buy a combo at the Black owned
to suck profit out of the mindless, violence promoting,      genre I hoped to destroy by buying bootlegs. I wanted to fish fry place across the street. I see the money I give
poorly written action genre obviously failed because         support the African-American director John Singleton. I
the slate of 2012 movies includes Ghost Rider II and The     have never purchased any bootlegged material created                                     Adreana Langston
Expendables.                                                 by Tyler Perry. Seemingly, my efforts to support Blacks      has been a resident of Long Beach, CA since sixth
             I’m also skeptical of Dodd and Valenti’s        in the film industry by consuming legally obtained          grade at Longfellow Elementary. She now resides
                                                                                                                         in downtown Long Beach where she freelances in
claims because the facts don’t support them. I’m not so      creative content is not fairing any better than my effort           Graphic Art, Web Design and Photography.
SOPA Can’t Stop Me (continued)
2

the bootleg DVD guy working its way through my local           what they are, money spent on buying music means
community. I see the movie industry running away from          money unavailable to see a live show. I would rather
Southern California productions in general and walking         digitally record music from YouTube videos for free and
away from employing people from the Black community            use the money I would have spent on Itunes to see artists
in particular. This does not leave me feeling very vested.     live. Rick Carne’s, president of the Songwriters Guild Of
             Dodd’s arguments also don’t leave me              America, wrote a January 2011 article, Has Music Piracy
feeling very sympathetic. The movie industry’s                 Killed The Recording Artist? (http://bitly.com/yTkHxE), in
problems with piracy escalated right when the                  which he laments that piracy has left bands basically
industry was busy chasing cheap manufacturing labor            giving their music away as a promotional item. But then
(http://bitly.com/AlG6kr) in China. Oh, the bill may           he quotes Damian Kulash from the band OK Go fully
be titled Stop Online Piracy Act, but in emerging              accepting the new business model of using “free” music
markets, the same markets to which the industry                to get fans to buy tickets to live shows.
is looking to fuel its future growth, the piracy                              To Dodd and the MPAA I say this. . .You
problem started out and remains one of pirated DVDs            continued to decrease the amount of movie production
(http://bitly.com/zIIpKJ ). After all, in many emerging        in Southern California. You chose to do business with
markets it is a low percentage of homes that have the          shady factory owners at DVD pressing plants in China.
broadband Internet access necessary to download                You continue to drag your feet when it comes to
movies efficiently. As the eChinaCities.com October 2011       integrating minorities and women into the business.
article (http://bitly.com/zWN7kA) points out, the same         You are now certainly entitled to throw money at high
Chinese factories the movie studios hire to mass produce       priced lobbyist to get Congress to pass a bill that would
their legitimate DVDs are the ones that are producing          ostensibly have me paying to see crap like Immortals.
the bootlegs and distributing them not only in China but       But don’t encourage me to write my representative in
worldwide. “Dig a little deeper however, and one finds         support of your agenda. Because guess what? It’ll never
plenty of home grown counterfeiters around. It is usually      happen. I’ll either keep buying from the bootleg guy or
an ugly blurring of the boundary between legal and             I’ll listen to audiobooks while I iron.
illegal, with many legitimate businesses getting caught
up in counterfeiting operations unwillingly. According
to the LA Times, the Suzhou Baodie Laser Electronics
Company was closed in the late 90s for breaches of
copyright. Apparently it was running off copies for the
California-based Microlink Systems during the day, but
pirates used it to make fakes at night. Suspect factories
such as these are scattered all over China, but the main
regional offender (as usual) is Guangdong Province,
which is doubly afflicted: first by its massive pre-existing
industrial base and secondly through its proximity to
Hong Kong and Macau, from where organized gangs
smuggle thousands of copies over the border every
month.” I imagine that had the film industry made a
commitment to using DVD pressing companies in the
United States, those companies would be a lot less likely
to turn around and press extra copies to be sold on the
bootleg market behind the backs of their clients.
             When it comes to music I actually do
feel vested, which is another reason I pirate. I
have over thirty songs on my Ipod by Citizen Cope
(http://www.citizencope.com). Had I paid for each of
those songs I would have spent a little over $30.00,
the majority of which would not have gone to Clarence
Greenwood, the artist. When I buy a concert ticket, on
the other hand, I know that the majority of that ticket
money actually goes to the musician. My finances being

				
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Description: Even if the U.S. Congress passes the Stop Online Piracy Act, I intend to keep pirating.