Unmasking the Authentic Empire Strikes
Jan 18, 2012
Unveiling the reality of SOPA: Hollywood's attempt at censorship and the decline of the entertainment industry.
Brazil kept out of the discussion around SOPA, an acronym for a neo-fascist American legislation, conceived by the declining Hollywood industry. Besides the fundamental discussion for society about Globo Network's reality show, the lack of exposure of the subject contributed to the fact that only a very small minority of the population who pays attention to the case could barely elect a building supervisor. But SOPA is the reality version of "The Empire Strikes Back", from the Star Wars saga.
First of all, yes, SOPA is fascist. If you don't exactly understand what the law proposes, watch the video made by Fight for the Future and draw your conclusions. In addition to threatening the information architecture on which the Internet is based, the law would give censorship powers and the ability to shut down companies that, according to its creators (not only Republicans but also Democrats, clearly demonstrating that parties do not make a difference), "promote piracy on the Internet". A former senator turned lobbyist even argued that the US adopt the same censorship policies as China.
As expected, dozens of unions supported the project. These unions argue that the Internet and piracy are reducing the number of available jobs, which is, like most arguments in favor of the law, a lie. Aside from the fact that today's union structures are completely ineffective in defending society's interests and only serve the interests of their "owners" (yes, because power renewal in a union is as unthinkable as a Congress without corruption), there is an incestuous partnership of these organizations with the lobbyists behind the project, the declining and reactionary Hollywood. A post by Matt Stampeck on MediaLabs explains well why unions should never support the legislation.
SOPA is just another attempt by Hollywood to slow down its own decline. Having forgotten many, many years ago to try to retain talent and foster a creative industry, Hollywood is today a bureaucratic machine that lives to support classes that have little to do with the creation of entertainment and art. Since the early 80s, the cycle of great creativity of Hollywood, the cinema of authors (sensationally explained in the book by Peter Biskind, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls) has been fading until it finds itself in today's laughable state, thanks to the creation of blockbusters by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Today, the category that makes the most money in Hollywood is the lawyers, followed by producers and then distributors. Actors, directors, screenwriters make money, but they are no longer at the top of the budget, taking extra marketing and advertising funds than movie fees. The migration of talent to TV, where series are becoming increasingly complex, is no coincidence.
Another post, made by a technology entrepreneur, summarizes well the reasons why Hollywood and its court of diners and vassals are supporting SOPA (and here, literally, financing political campaigns and spending about US$120 million annually on lobby). Hollywood cannot innovate and does not have the necessary digital DNA to reintegrate its operations into the environment (also because this would mean having to end a series of privileges of remoras that permeate the system). The studios are managed by market managers who neither understand the artistic part of it (dead and buried long ago) and prevent the development of innovations that may end their gravy train. Blank says that the major studios spend millions of dollars annually researching technology to limit piracy, but managers, linked to marketing and finance, undermine their work. Finally, Hollywood doesn't care about the collateral effects that SOPA might have on the rest of society in terms of supporting democracy. Pay attention to the list of technological changes that Blank lists during the 20th century that caused a general outcry and that in the end, did not "destroy" anyone.
SOPA is, ultimately, the first formal attempt by declining and doomed industries to 1) either a severe restructuring, or 2) disappearance to maintain their financial gains even if it means imposing censorship powers on the rest of society. There are already a series of legislations in force that give powers to entertainment producers to combat piracy without having to shut down Google (yes, a video of your child singing a Michael Jackson song on YouTube could take Google offline, depending on a judge's sentence). The Internet is full of imperfections but provides a transparency that no other environment gives (certainly more than any other media). Hollywood has in Rupert Murdoch a heavy ally who defends SOPA tooth and nail, because he knows that his Mesozoic empire will lose more and more power in the current scenario. Before this happens, he will certainly try many other Dick Dastardly tricks. The Dark Side of the Force has lost its shame and came to the center of the ring. Luke Skywalker, here, is no saint, but he's a much lesser evil.