My thoughts on S.O.P.A.

IN THE former Soviet Union, in the late 1950s and 60s, many books that questioned the political system began to be circulated privately in mimeographed form. Their authors never earned a penny in royalties. On the contrary, they were persecuted, denounced in the official press, and sent into exile in the notorious Siberian gulags. Yet they continued to write.

Why? Because they needed to share what they were feeling. From the Gospels to political manifestos, literature has allowed ideas to travel and even to change the world.

I have nothing against people earning money from their books; that’s how I make my living.
But look at what’s happening now. Stop Online Piracy Act (S.O.P.A) may disrupt internet. This is a REAL DANGER, not only for Americans, but for all of us, as the law – if approved – will affect the whole planet.

And how do I feel about this?
As an author, I should be defending ‘intellectual property’, but I’m not.

Pirates of the world, unite and pirate everything I’ve ever written!

The good old days, when each idea had an owner, are gone forever.
First, because all anyone ever does is recycle the same four themes: a love story between two people, a love triangle, the struggle for power, and the story of a journey.
Second, because all writers want what they write to be read, whether in a newspaper, blog, pamphlet, or on a wall.

The more often we hear a song on the radio, the keener we are to buy the CD. It’s the same with literature.

The more people ‘pirate’ a book, the better. If they like the beginning, they’ll buy the whole book the next day, because there’s nothing more tiring than reading long screeds of text on a computer screen.

1. Some people will say: You’re rich enough to allow your books to be distributed for free.

That’s true. I am rich. But was it the desire to make money that drove me to write? No. My family and my teachers all said that there was no future in writing.
I started writing and I continue to write because it gives me pleasure and gives meaning to my existence. If money were the motive, I could have stopped writing ages ago and saved myself having to put up with invariably negative reviews.

2. The publishing industry will say: Artists can’t survive if they’re not paid.

In 1999, when I was first published in Russia ( with a print- run of 3,000), the country was suffering a severe paper shortage. By chance, I discovered a ‘ pirate’ edition of The Alchemist and posted it on my web page.
An year later, when the crisis was resolved, I sold 10,000 copies of the print edition.
By 2002, I had sold a million copies in Russia, and I have now sold over 12 million.

When I traveled across Russia by train, I met several people who told me that they had first discovered my work through the ‘ pirated’ edition I posted on my website. Nowadays, I run a ‘Pirate Coelho’ website, giving links to any books of mine that are available on P2P sites.
And my sales continue to grow — nearly 140 million copies world wide.

When you’ve eaten an orange, you have to go back to the shop to buy another. In that case, it makes sense to pay on the spot.
With an object of art, you’re not buying paper, ink, paintbrush, canvas or musical notes, but the idea born out of a combination of those products.

‘Pirating’ can act as an introduction to an artist’s work. If you like his or her idea, then you will want to have it in your house; a good idea doesn’t need protection.

The rest is either greed or ignorance
 
 

Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

 

Comments

  1. Alejandro says:

    To Coelho and other artists and creators or writers like Ario Sasongko:

    I didn’t have a clue of who Cohelo was until I read an E-book from him (free download of course from piratebay.org). Since 2005 I have now bought 8 books from him and downloaded another one from a free torrent. That means 10 books for the price of 8. Isn’t that business?! And its also a free way to become popular.

    The same way happened with most of University’s books and some SW we needed to accomplish our studies or start a small business. All of us who used (and still using) piracy are now successful, are producing more and are buying more.

    Therefore my suggestion is to use the information technology we have nowadays to spread your ideas, your writing, your dreams or your own business (your own name).

    One of those ideas we should all demand our leaders to understand and to actively support is that Piracy is needed to grow and has always been.

  2. SS says:

    “The more people ‘pirate’ a book, the better. If they like the beginning, they’ll buy the whole book the next day, because there’s nothing more tiring than reading long screeds of text on a computer screen.”

    hahahehe. So true.

    By the way, I have made one of your books, ‘The Fifth Mountain’, my bible. You should know that that book is found in EVERY library in my country. I would see it somewhere, read the blurb, find it boring, and then put it back down. That’s funny because I had already read a lot of your books and you were one of my most favourite authors in the world even then. So, what happened is that, this year, during my school’s prize-giving ceremony, I received that very book as a prize for standing first in my class and since I had to do after school was over, I thought that I might as well read it. So I did. And I LOVED it. And now it’s like my guidebook for life. I’ve marked, re-marked, dog-eared, highlighted pages of the book that I like and it has become a very ancient-looking, used, cuddled and re-re-re-re-read book. Lol.

    J. K. Rowling and you are my friends for life, whether either of you like it or not. :P

    Also, I leech A LOT of stuff from the internet; and whenever I feel guilty about it, I seed stuff for others and then I feel better. Hehe.

    ThankX

  3. […] anything and at the same time gaining prestige and recognition. Best selling writer Paulo Coelho was talking about piracy and the S.O.P.A. (Stop Online Piracy Act) in some terms we would not expect from someone that makes a living […]

  4. Zulgrib says:

    Hello.

    I don’t know you nor your books, but i like your way to think.

    Downloading books can be used to have a sort of “demo”, to see if we like the book before ordering it, as most people i know do with games, they download it, play it a hours or two, and either unistall it or buy it the next day at the store or online if it’s not too much drm infested.

    Some people can also, just don’t have the money, but i don’t think knowledge and culture should require money, that’s unfair.

    Here in France you even need to pay for some schools if you want to study, why not just share ? Else you will just die without any one to keep your thinking alive ?

    I wish you the best.

  5. […] Paulo Coelho says in his blog “A good idea doesn’t need protection”. He argues the more people ‘pirate’ his book the better. It […]

  6. Bookspill says:

    […] and Enjoy Paulo Coelho is placed firmly in our authors top 5 due to his fight for piracy. Mister Coelho had another trick up his sleeve by making all (except the Alchemist) his e-books […]

  7. Elena says:

    Dear Mr. Coelho,
    I like your books very much and even love some of them; their simplicity and metaphoric (or should I say archetypal) nature ensures the widest possible audience – regardless of religion or culture. I totally agree with all your arguments; although I am not a writer, I sometimes write a line or to for a newspaper and I must say with all humility that I am nothing but a vehicle, or a mediator, for something/someone above (mind you, I was not brought up in any religion). So, suing someone just because they passed around the ideas mediated by you is clearly short-sighted. After all, even agnostics should accept the fact that our post-modern era merely reiterates what has been said so many times before…

  8. Marie-Christine says:

    Seems to me that progress is something that is difficult for most of us to accept in our societies. Is not that the problem . It’s nothing new though and it has been going on for centuries.
    You mentioned it in your book ‘The 5th Mountain’ that the way messages were sent was with parchment and clay slab , then they brought up the papyrus from Egypt and they had to get permission to use the Byblos Alphabet.
    I view this as the ‘ new technology’ at the time.

    Information is really something that has a stronghold on generations. and instead of us living in the moment and embracing the new we tend to spend it in the past. perhaps is it an obstacle to surmount.

    Is there a need for more education to get the message loud and clear

    Many thanks and best wishes for ‘A book for a price of a song’. It’s inspiration for all.
    With love

    Marie-Christine

    1. Marie-Christine says:

      Tracking the Amazon(e)…
      Oh Paulo that sounds such a good idea
      I have read some very good comments. They have some good points I thought.
      Lluis Lazaro – thank you y saludos tambien – is asking who has an e-book or an i-pad.
      I don’t have either and I am wondering whether the prices of these articles will also go down? .
      The e-book, i-pad etc is good in principle,. I can see that it will save the Amazone and will help the forest to re generate-. Forest that is being depleted of its oxygene. It will be good for our Health as well,
      Listening to Jean- Michel Jarre ‘s CD Oxygene is also excellent, however we must not keep it in a jar. We want to share amongst all of us.
      The downloading of books is a very costly thing inkwise. There has been a new ink saver :) introduced I have noticed . ..at a stiff cost of Euros 42.for 700 pages.
      Who can afford to keep doing that, It’s liquid gold in a powder.
      This price should also come down I believe. Maybe something is already, hopefully, being put in action. That’s wonderful.
      I’m pretty keen in having a kindle or whatever :) maybe it’ my lucky day and I will have a surprise in my letter box with all those beautiful books enclosed.
      …One can always hope.:)
      I don’t’ live in the USA though. Listening to ‘Born in the USA’ Thank you Bruce. Spring teen.
      I am a teen ager too:). It’s a lovely time of the year ..
      With love and thank you for being.

      Marie-Christine

  9. […] coisa da qual não se pode acusar Paulo Coelho é de não acreditar nos seus ideais. Depois de defender o download de sua própria obra em um protesto contra o SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act, projeto de lei americano para o combate da […]

  10. ken huggard says:

    Thank you Paulo You write what you love, you love what you write and so do I.

  11. […] Coehlo, le célèbre romancier auteur de L’Alchimiste, va plus loin encore. « SOPA est un danger pour nous tous. Pirates du monde entier je vous le demande, téléchargez […]

  12. ACTA is the new political game… the money is not enough.
    They wan more.

    Thanks for the grate read Paulo!

  13. […] in our time.Some authors are figuring this out. The remarkably successful writer Paulo Coelho writes on his blog: “As an author, I should be defending ‘intellectual property’, but I’m not. Pirates of the […]

  14. Arnobio says:

    Paulo Coelho,

    Quando a arte encanta, aqueles que gostaram, pagam ao final do espetáculo.

    Certamente os leitores dos seus livros pagariam um dólar cada por toda sua obra e você teria dinheiro suficiente parar sustentar algumas gerações da sua família. Mesmo assim, não pararia de escrever até os último dia da sua existência.

    Estou de acordo!

  15. Tony says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. There are many artists that I would not have otherwise been familiar with had I not been introduced through pirated materials.
    And I always try to support the artists that I like financially by buying copies of their work.
    This “golden era” of file sharing allows me to support work that I like without being subjected to paying large sums of money on things that I don’t like.
    Shame on the various industries attempting to ban file sharing and control Internet content. These are the same companies that would be all too pleased charging exorbitant fees for garbage that isn’t worthy of print…as long as they get those consumers dollars. File sharing levels the playing field allowing us to try before we buy. And as far as I can tell the various industries are not taking a big financial hit. More likely the artists themselves directly benefit monetarily and with greater popularity.

  16. Dear Mr. Coelho

    Many thanks for your sharing your wisdom. Totally agree with and your comments. Actually, I found this entry after a friend of mine shared this link in my latest post called “Itelectual property vs. Social property” on my website (sorry it’s Spanish, will probably start transliting them soon for a wider spread), were I try to make a new approach to intelectual property. It might also be easier for me to talk about this when I don’t actually live from my texts, music or art. maybe because I don’t produce any of that. But I do think it’s time for a new approach to Intellectual property, something to satisfy both creators and consumers.

    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  17. G. says:

    Mr. Coelho, I don’t like your books (sorry), but I love this post, I totally agree with you. I think real writers don’t need to be published or earn a lot of money, they simply want to write and to be read, the way doesn’t matter.

  18. Mikahel says:

    More restriction there will be, more easier will be the way for a human been to find the truly himself!
    Technology is human enemy, if one day someone will stop the electricity forever, or for long time, we could understand that we are not in need to use web, phone or else… since those things make the humans far from each other and especially from himself.
    Said that, I agree with your initiative, I hope won’t work!

  19. […] stronie książkę – The Alchemist, którą można bez problemu pobrać za darmo. Jak sam mówi na swoim blogu: Pirates of the world, unite and pirate everything I’ve ever written! (…) ‘Pirating’ can […]

  20. Clare says:

    “1. Some people will say: You’re rich enough to allow your books to be distributed for free.

    That’s true. I am rich. But was it the desire to make money that drove me to write? ”

    As a big fan of your work, I appreciate your article and respect your thoughts but to this point you made above about not writing for the money…..You began writing and achieved success at a different time where this wasn’t a real issue and systematic practice. Few real artists “write for the money” but there is a very real effect for real artists who have began relatively recently as opposed to you who achieved success during a time where piracy was not a serious problem. Also, literature is not the same as music for example where piracy has taken over to wipeout sales and the basic perceived value of music. You are entitled to allow your books to be pirated by anyone and entitled to your opinions on the matter, and again I’m a huge fan. However I disagree that piracy is a good thing. It still costs a musician 30 grand to make a record and promote it mildly but the difference is no one in the business will foot any of the bill anymore nor will anyone buy the final product. So that means real artists are out there competing with a grossly oversaturated market with the main goal now being “How do I get the money to do this?” But I respect your opinions here, keep on writing beautiful stuff!

  21. Dirk Poot says:

    Dear Mr Coelho,

    Thank you very much for your great postings about the dangers of SOPA; you are one of the few writers in this debate that doesn’t allow the content-industry too speak on their behalf.

    You maybe aware that one of the lines being used by the EC to dupe MEP’s into saying yes to ACTA, is that ACTA is entirely different from SOPA.

    If you could find the energy to lash out at this type of legislation once more, and then specifically at ACTA, your voice maybe instrumental in swaying the opinions of some key European Lawmakers.

    No pressure though.

  22. […] de toutes les mettre en ligne. Il a d’ailleurs récemment pris position contre SOPA en précisant : Pirates du monde entier, unissez-vous et piratez tout ce que j’ai écrit dans ma carrière […]

  23. Quintin Mariano says:

    Mr. Coelho, I’ll be looking for your bestseller book the Alchemist. I admire your success and you advertised yourself well with your view on piracy; however, I differ with you in principle. Piracy is an indictable offense and you are encouraging people this kind of activity which is punishable by law. If, because of your views on piracy, a person resorts to this kind of activity you are partly responsible.

    I used to be a courier and pick up a van full of pirated video materials at one business place every week to be distributed all over. The last time I went there, I was told that the police raided the place and closed it down because of their illegal activity. Just imagine the huge loss to the original artist, and the loss is passed on to the consumers. But if you want something you have to work hard so you have something to pay for it. Take anything you want that’s given free, but not something that is not given away because that is stealing!

    The last thing I ask to you is, what about those artist or writers who have lesser attractiveness in their work? Do you care?

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      a] I am encouraging the distribution of my free contents. Like this blog, for example: it takes time and effort to write the posts.
      I am not encouraging piracy: I do believe that if a person reads a few pages (like you do in the bookstore) chances are you are going to buy it. I was fighting against SOPA, PIPA, ACTA.
      b] In my case, I have facts to prove that it works.
      c] when you go to a municipal library and get a book, are you paying copyrights to the author? No. And still, this is a very common thing to do. You get the contents for free, right? The same when you lend a book. Or when you sell to a second hand bookstore.
      d] I did not say: Pirate everything. I said: pirate my books – it was not me who put them there, but for the several comments you can read here, it was the first contact with my work.
      e] as for your last question: I do care. I was not an “instant success”. But I understood from the very beginning that greed would not help me. So I started sharing as much as I could. That said, it is up to the artist/writer to find the right way to reach a broader audience.

  24. Thoughts says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post, and I agree with the things you have written here. I honestly believe that it’s GREED of large corporations that drives SOPA/PIPA/ACTA to become a law. Everything boils down to money and more financial gain.
    “A good idea doesn’t need protection,” is the best line I read in your entry,
    Again, thank you.

  25. Mari says:

    i love you =)))))))

  26. Petros says:

    I’m deeply moved to be reading such a post by one of the greatest writers i’ve ever read. In my thoughts you’ve been promoted from a great writer, to a great person. You are a perfect example of why the writing art will never perish.

  27. Ky-Anh says:

    Don’t forget an even worse threat… ACTA!
    This is 10 times worse than SOPA or PIPA! And it’s international!

  28. […] a post on his blog, Coelho opined about the controversial anti-piracy law and argued that the […]

  29. […] Alchemist on his website, which in turn helped the novel's staggering sales. Read the whole post here. "Pirating can act as an introduction to an artist’s work. If you like his or her idea, then you […]

  30. Pierre Provencher says:

    To Ario : Good for you 1 I can only encourage you to write and make this place better. Don’t ever let anything stop you from following your dream (as P. Coelho would say) and give it all you’ve got. And I’ll be the first to buy your books. Long life and prosperity ! Pierre Provencher, Montréal, Canada.
    …and thank you Mr Coelho for your comment against SOPA and all other such greed and ignorance. Live free !

  31. peter jesus says:

    Thank you Mr. Coelho for your attitude when you say you are on the side of The Pirate Bay website … you focus your view on the positive options, such as piracy can benefit talented young artists from the beginning of their careers … I can see why it is not only a famous artist but a great human being and an example for others to follow ;-D)

  32. Karen Belyea says:

    To Paolo, my sentiments exactly. Thank you for articulating it for me.

  33. […] As the author Paulo Coelho recently wrote in a fantastic blog post (which you are free to read here): […]

  34. […] de esto, decidí participar. Varios de mis libros están allí, y como dije en un post anterior, My thoughts on S.O.P.A., las ventas físicas de mis libros están creciendo desde que los lectores los publican en sitios […]

  35. […] As the author Paulo Coelho recently wrote in a fantastic blog post (which you are free to read here): […]

  36. […] einiges überdenken sollte findet bekanntermaßen auch Paulo Coelho, dessen Schlüsselerlebnis die Verbreitung des “Alchimisten” per pdf im Jahr 1999 in Russland war, dem 12 Millionen verkaufte Exemplare in diesem Land folgten: […]

  37. La asociacion SOLAR Software Libre Argentina – que defiende además del Software Libre, la cultura libre y la libre difusipón y apropiación social del conocimiento – tradujo al español la carta de Coelho en su sitio web, pueden leerla aquí:

    “Paulo Coelho habla de SOPA” en http://www.solar.org.ar/spip.php?article925

  38. Ario Sasongko says:

    Dear Sir,

    I know this is going to be another agreement comment. But, well first of all, yes I couldn’t agree more than that. You’re thought really is true sense of artist.

    Secondly, I want to thank you, because for the second time, your writing gave me courage. Let me tell you a little story…

    I love writing, I’ve been writing for the half of my life (I’m 26). But, as you said above, my Father didn’t believe that I could make a living by doing something that I love so much; Writing. And there I am, drifted away from my path, from my true calling, work at the office earn monthly salary and big project bonus. It’s a good way of living, to be honest.

    But, one day, I realized that I getting too far away from the life I wanted to be. I want to write something, I want share my idea to the world. But, I’m scared, I’m too scared to fail. Then I remember your book, “The Alchemist”, read that book long time ago. I don’t know how, but suddenly I have my courage back. I quit my job, I save some my salary earlier and it’s kinda useful for the rainy days. None agree on my decision, including my father. I don’t blame them, It’s make sense actually.

    And here I am, just for one month, start my life all over again, writing. Of course it didn’t went that well, I didn’t earn a penny from my writing so far. I love short story and novel. Yet, none of my short stories are published on the newspaper, and it’s takes time to finish my novel, need a lot of research, constructing the structure, etc. I know, I just start it. It’s only the first month and it takes years to gain success from writing.

    But, you know, sometime I feel worry. I feel lonely, because no one understand my way of living and they all said that I’m gonna end up poor. I know, money isn’t the main reason of my decision. I write something because I want to share my idea, more, one day I want to make this world a better place with my writing. If I want to be a rich man, I’ll leave my writing from the first place.

    But, you know, sometime people just not sure of something.

    And, yes, then I read your writing here;

    “That’s true. I am rich. But was it the desire to make money that drove me to write? No. My family and my teachers all said that there was no future in writing.
    I started writing and I continue to write because it gives me pleasure and gives meaning to my existence. If money were the motive, I could have stopped writing ages ago and saved myself having to put up with invariably negative reviews.” Paulo Coelho.

    When I read it, i just can’t believe that even you ever experienced the same situation. Yes, you make me believe that when people want to write, they want to share something, they want to have a meaning of their existence.

    Um, I wan’t to let you know that I won’t give up anyway, whether I read this essay or not. I know that, since I made my decision, my life wouldn’t be easy, yes I’m aware of that. But thanks, because you made me-for the second time, believe that I’m not the only stupid person who have faith in writing. I live my life, with my own way.

    I’m Indonesian, by the way. It’s a hard life here in this poor country and corrupt government.

    And yes, I hate SOPA.

    Regards,
    Ario Sasongko.

    1. James Friel says:

      Ario,
      Congratulations on launching out into your adventure of writing ! Until recently, I have put off a regular daily practice of formulating the turns
      and challenges that are important for me to gain clarity about how to
      see and enact what is most interesting and important as a member of
      such a turbulent time. There is so much of consequence happening all over the world that I sometimes have trouble determining what is best for me to focus on. So,as a result, I make up stories about how our lives can soar through and out of the chaos presented to us in international reporting and even the scenes taking place as we step out into the street in the morning or encounter in nightmares as we sleep. Along with writing, there are certain other activities that are important for me to take part in as a member of society living with so many others who are also struggling. I am referring to my practice of meditation and also
      meeting with other practitioners to discuss how this can contribute to
      developing as a writer.

      I wish you the best in your efforts,

      James

    2. diana says:

      You will end up writing no matter what. That’s the way humans are build. To pick what they love.

  39. Shauna says:

    This is beautiful… and an optimistic bend. I really am a big fan of you ever since I read The Alchemist… I know most of the beautiful expression from it as I read it sooo many times.
    I am sure I will grow to my dreams and meet you one day… Maktub

  40. Matthias Geh says:

    Dear Paulo Coelho,

    I totally agree, that literature – I would even go so far and say ANY form of art – is circulating freely, because it should not serve the industries but its universal purpose – to move people’s minds, bodies and spirits. And I will continue to buy hard copies/albums from the artists I want to support.

    heartfelt regards and a gigantic Thank You for your insights

    Matthias (Leipzig, Germany)

  41. Keith says:

    I could not agree more with Neil Young. I have always shared music and always will.

    The problem is not sharing. The problem is the greed of Hollywood and the music industry.

    Neil Young is right — piracy is the new radio
    http://gigaom.com/2012/01/31/neil-young-is-right-piracy-is-the-new-radio/

  42. Svetla Vasileva says:

    You have a beautiful soul and deserve love and admiration from your fans. You are an inspiration to me.

  43. Ross says:

    We all have a life energy inside us wishing to express itself. Not all of us are fortunate enough for this to find conscious expression. If it does find conscious expression through us we should be grateful, and use this medium as a way to “create”, to “communicate freely” and to possibly influence others, it’s divine (or natural if your prefer) purpose might be to guide others so that they can do things to help our evolution. Receiving economic benefit from this gift is a secondary benefit. SOPA is driven by fear of economic loss. Piracy doesn’t prevent creativity, it might just minimise economic benefit, the creative process will still happen. Creativity constantly takes different forms. Piracy is a parasite, but parasites exist in nature and ultimately serve some purpose.

  44. Cristiano says:

    I igree at all you say, but the big production company will never allow “pirates” to destroy their “perfect world”. It’s a big and rich industry that use the artists as a reason to exist. (….. how can the artist survive if people pirate their works?…). As u said it’s no true. But mostly for the work of the artist these company get the biggest profit. And it’s not only about music (CD), movies (DVD), or stories (books), but it’s the same for every thing. The profit at first! Well, why not, but…. the human’s intelligence showed us already there are others ways to get the same result. Even much more better!!!

    Thanks for your words and your works.

    Cristiano

  45. glaiza says:

    You’re one of a kind. In the world where all people are thinking are about sales and profit, you are promoting generosity and freedom. Everyday I thank God for people like you; beautiful people who inspire the good in each one. I first came across your book “The Valkries” for free when the previous tenant of my present apartment left hers. Eversince then, I’ve been an avid reader who’ve bought for myself copies of your published work from “The Pilgrimage” to “Aleph”. I would say it was destiny. Through the generosity of that person who left the book that others may partake of it’s treasure. Once again Thank you!

  46. Jorge says:

    Simply a beautiful pice of writing regardin this awful law. Thanks Paulo, you certainly have a magic way of making people thing and have a concience. Blessings

  47. Ten years ago, when Microsoft was still new to the Russian market, in a Russian web site I saw under the heading “Funny” a photo of a huge, multicolored Microsoft billboard advertising their newest Windows in Russian, attached neatly on an electric pole. As grandeur as the slogan prizing the product was the intellectual property anti-theft warning: “Stealing a purse or stealing software – two crimes punishable by law”. Bellow the billboard, glued on the pole, printed on a simple A4 with the biggest font possible to fit on the paper, was a serial number for the Windows advertised above. About five years ago the American government prosecuted some kids for downloading and sharing music files. Today the digital piracy is still vital as always and the US government incentives like S.O.P.A. are in the vicinity.
    The technological progress makes it possible for the instantaneous creativity and innovation simply because of the instantaneous nature of the Internet. The information itself (copyrighted or not) is the biggest asset available to men today. The exchange of information on the Internet is becoming the main source of income for large industry hippopotamuses like RIAA and Google and for small Mom-and-Pop proprietorships alike so, naturally, it is going to be the main battlefield for resource distribution and re-distribution.
    The Stop Online Piracy Act full title is “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” per Wikipedia. The major accent here is to “combating the theft of U.S. property”. This seams to be all about. The property of the United States of America is endangered.
    The sad misconception at the top of the food chain is that information is like the oil, the gold or the corn. Whoever controls it – controls the physical world. Blame Guttenberg for inventing the printing press or blame Leonard Kleinrock’s, J.C.R. Licklider and Robert Taylor for their original idea of the network. The genie is out for good or for evil. The information (or the knowledge) is like the water in the toilet – once you flush it – is gone. But gone for you, not for the plumbing of your house, nor for the municipal plumbing or the fish in the lake where it ultimately ends up.
    Innovative people (usually somewhere in Japan) collect such water, recycle it and reuse it. The waste is recycled too and turned into a fuel and used to power cities… Other places (usually in the US) start thinking about the waste in the drinking water when the taste is really unpleasant.
    It is all about perspective. Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian educator, philosopher and scholar who is known for coining the expressions “the global village” and “the medium is the message”. He predicted the WWW almost thirty years before it was invented. The Internet is the medium and it is the message too.
    Knowledge is from the Gods. Prometheus stole the fire from Zeus. Zeus then punished him for his crime by having him bound to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. Both the names of Prometheus and of Zeus are equally known to the mankind.
    I think that no one could possibly contain the message when it is out in the open not even the US Congress.