You'll probably be hearing a lot about SOPA today, due to the various websites blacking themselves out to raise attention on the issue. I'd love to add my own voice to that clamor, particularly addressing SAG and AFTRA's endorsement of this bill.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about: hello, time traveler from Victorian England! You've landed in 2012! I love your steampunk time machine! Here is a helpful infographic breaking down the realities of life after SOPA. The always eloquent Wil Wheaton wrote a great blog entry about it. And Change.org has an informative petition.
But this is something the studios have to figure out. I don't think it can be legislated. If the MPAA and the networks can figure out a way to monetize the internet that doesn't alienate consumers, I think we'll be in good shape. Unfortunately, SOPA and ProtectIP don't do this. It's just a version of sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming "nananananana."
Even more unfortunate is the fact that my own unions are in support of this bill. Since I'm not Tom Cruise, I rely on small projects to get my name out there, including things I write and direct myself. I'm afraid that in a post-SOPA world, those projects would be squashed by larger corporate interests. Our unions were formed to protect us from the corporate studio system. I'm not saying we should never be on the same side as the MPAA, but we should probably never be on the same side as the MPAA.
I know this bill is touted to protect artists like me, but artists like me had no hand in creating it. It seems like this is just an auction to sell the internet to the highest corporate bidder.