Software engineering is my full-time (and then some) focus. Some of you may know that I am also an attorney licensed to practice in Washington state. But it does not require either of these specialties to care about SOPA and PIPA.
SOPA and PIPA are the U.S. house and senate bills that intend to help fight online piracy of intellectual property. These bills have received a lot of press lately. Piracy of intellectual property is something we should all care about. It has a profound and expensive effect on the way companies do business and the goods and services available to individuals.
For many, it may seem like a daunting task to understand the technical or legal implications of proposed legislation like this. So when I ran across a really succinct and easy to grasp explanation, I thought I’d share it.
Salman Khan’s video is only 11 minutes long and worth watching.
Sure, it appears that SOPA and PIPA are dead, for now. So why would I suggest taking 11 minutes to understand them? Because the problem they attempt to address is not gone and will only continue to get worse. As a result, we will–and should–continue to see new attempts of some kind to fight online piracy. Understanding the problem, and how SOPA/PIPA proposed to address it, will help us be better prepared to evaluate and participate in seeing that only appropriate measures ever make it into law or practice.
Our system of government only works when enough people care about making the right decisions. So spend the 11 minutes unless you already understand these things really well.