Photo by: gré-Kelly Segré
Today the Internet is “going on strike”. All because of the Senate is going to be voting on the first ever internet censorship bill. As always there are two sides of this coin, so let’s take a look at it from a different perspective. Here is how Wikipedia defines the SOPA Bill: Stop Online Piracy Act
There has always been an argument about freedom of speech and censorship. For the most part if you have been a photographer with a website you have basically been able to censor yourself. If your boudoir work was risqué or if it was tame you were able to show what you wanted to show. Some photographer’s have also put their photographs to music that has a copyright on it. If this bill passes you should definitely reconsider this practice!
Basically, as a society, do we want the government coming in and policing our every action? The people who oppose this bill argue that it will open the door to other types of censorship and eventually lead us down the path of losing our First Amendment rights all together. Those for it, including several big businesses who are currently losing money because they cannot collect fees for copyrighted material, say that it is needed to stop people from stealing from copyright holders.
Piracy is a big crime and has been going on way before the internet was ever invented. If you went to New York City you could see several street vendors selling knock-off purses, watches, videos of movies that were still in theatres, cassette tapes of records for half the price on down the line. There are people who see “easy money” and will steal to get it. But then there are those who may just be ignorant to the fact that they are in fact stealing. Unfortunately, as the law says, “ignorance is no excuse” and this is what we all need to consider.
So overall, the SOPA bill may not currently affect the work you show on your blog, website or Facebook page, but will it eventually? Will this lead to opening doors in other areas of censorship? Will you eventually be told that your work is too racy and that you are not allowed to show it on your site without a warning before anyone can enter? Places like Target and Walmart will already not print boudoir photos, they are to risqué and revealing, even though they will sell greeting cards with women who have enormous breasts in little bikini’s, but that is another point for another day.
Censorship of any kind is a very important issue to anyone in this industry and all decisions should be made about it should be made after educating yourself about the entire bill, not just what one side or the other says.