The entertainment business has been criminally assaulted by wrong-headed thinking that says we need to keep up with the Internet. No, search engines need to abide and adhere to the laws that have governed this country for over 200 years. It's a moral imperative. Thou shalt not steal.
It is time for technology companies especially to adopt radical transparency of how they operate so they can't find themselves in gotcha moments when the hysterical "discover" something they've been doing all along.
Since the future of SOPA and PIPA is largely in doubt, industry and lawmakers are left looking for a path forward. But the debate is not confined to the United States; digital piracy is increasingly being touted as an international trade concern.
Getting citizens involved will make Congress pay attention, but not every issue is a SOPA, where the internet shuts down in protest. Most issues fly below the radar. Only an empowered, capable Congress can make decisions.
Behind the SOPA legislative scene a very different and highly competitive industrial-scale battle is being fought by publishers of the web's content, Internet service providers (the final distributors of content) and copyright owners, including Hollywood.
Despite our best efforts, it's hard to compete with free. That is why I feel passionately about the need for legislation to protect this vital marketplace for companies like mine and for filmmakers who are the most vulnerable to bad actors in the space.
It is possible to protect the rights of copyright holders and content creators without drastically reshaping the Internet, stifling creativity and potentially shuttering some of our favorite sites. This legislation isn't it.
It was truly embarrassing to watch the elected representatives prostrate themselves to the entertainment business which is dwarfed, in economic terms, by companies that provide goods and services over the Internet.
It is in everyone's interest to protect the robust flow of digital content for lawful uses. But many worry that SOPA will spark a lot of litigation that will dampen innovation and undermine online security.