When the “cure is worse than the disease”

Media companies need to get their act together and adopt a new economic strategies instead of trying to make us more tech-savvy. Think iTunes.

When I finally stumbled onto the internet in the 80’s, there was no manual for the dummy IBM3270 terminals stuck in the NUS libraries. But put in some effort and even I could find the e-manual and acquire the necessary files from a chatterbox or a geek.

One night, green text finally appeared on my screen and I was chatting with a Norwegian undergrad. He was surprised I knew about his fjords and embarrassed he knew nothing of Singapore. We’re a small country, I explained, we have to know about the rest of the world. And anyway, I learnt about the fjords from Slartibartfast.

Actually I wasn’t even supposed to be in that room. I was matriculated as yet.

SOPA and PIPA will aim to restrict, but if successful, will simply make everyone more IT-savvy. Believe you me, we’ll immediately learn how to get around all of this, propagate the instructions and be all the more determined to do so.

What have media companies done in the past? Well, each time I buy an original DVD, I find it is restricted to a particular region. Thankfully DVD makers shrugged off that stupid idea, and a “secret” key combination transform most DVD players into a region-free device. That ensures our legitimate purchases from e-shops in Australia, US and Europe will all work. Sheesh. However, I then have to sit through an FBI warning about how I, the legitimate customer, should not be indulging in piracy – and I can’t fast forward past this bit. Bah!

Never mind all that, there is now SOPA and PIPA. I’ve read about the implications from EFF for some months now, and s’alright, no thanks.

If you’re a wordpress user, you can express yourself by joining the 24-hour blackout today (20120118: 0800 EST = 2100 SST) or add a ribbon. And its not just us. Wikipedia is already undergoing a 24-hour blackout until 1300 SST tomorrow.

Wikipedia protests SOPA

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