Silicon Florist is covering how Oregon Senator Wyden has come out against SOPA and PROTECTIP, bills that would update protections and criminalize intellectual property theft to fill the obvious loopholes with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Silicon Florist gave me the opportunity to rebut Senator Wyden’s stance before, and my request to Senator Wyden to propose alternatives that protect the intellectual property rights of creatives – unfortunately Senator Wyden is fresh out of new ideas.
It is easy to slam anything that has the backing of the music and entertainment industries. There is nothing less lovable than a lobbyist – except for lawyers – and many lobbyists are also lawyers. Both industries have been villainized by legal actions taken against individuals and their children who may have downloaded content illegally. Big Content is not very lovable, though what it produces seems to be irresistible when its been made (illegally) freely available.
Unfortunately, many people do not see that theft of intellectual property is theft – and that’s bad for the country. It is bad for the country because intellectual property is the future of commerce.
How so? Good business moves manufacturing to the location where corporations believe they can get the most value for the work. Manufacturing (as opposed to craft) value varies from one industry to the next, but constants always include 1) time and cost to market, 2) actual cost of manufacturing and 3) amount of risk associated with the costs.
States such as Oregon which Senator Wyden serves pray for large manufacturing companies to set up shop. Some do – for special tax incentives, or they may have some other, non business reason for doing so. The vast majority though keep sending the work to markets where manufacturing costs are the lowest. Low skilled jobs have no future. Intellectual property has a bright future, but only if you have a society that protects its value and nurtures its next generations with a good education.