Censorship or protection? SOPA and PIPA a view from outside America

The furor has died down a bit now, but watching from outside of this issue has been interesting. Like many things, what happens in America affects the world, whether we like it or not. I had no power to influence the outcome, but I could support those who did. And, I’m grateful these bills are dead –  for now.

In this pause, it is a good time to think beyond the reaction. As an author I do think I have the right to own my work and decide whether I get paid for it or not. As a marketer, I want visibility and that means giving up some income to find readers, in fact, piracy is being used as a marketing tool by some. As a reader, I want to be able to get my books from the Internet at reasonable prices. So, like many people out there, I am having difficulty taking a side logically.

Emotionally, not a problem. I don’t want censorship. I want freedom.

The two are not mutually exclusive. It’s nice to to have the law to fall back on if I want to try to stop people stealing my work (I just had a flash of a little boy with his finger in a dyke). But, I don’t think it’s the job of the government to enforce this kind of law for me, and I certainly don’t need a foreign government to enforce their laws on me.

I think we’ll be fighting this battle for a long time. I hope we always find a way to keep the Internet free while we do it.

Shameless plug:

If you haven’t read Off Track, now is the time. The second book will be available soon.