So I spent half the day arguing about online piracy by accident. Because I don't like SOPA but as a content creator I do want to see stronger enforcement when people, y'know, steal shit. And then I think, y'know, Prince was able to keep ALL his stuff off Youtube for years. I mean, he was a dick about it, but it worked. And then I came up with a plan. This only works for movie studios, but I'm sure there's a way to parlay it into music and other areas of entertainment. [Disclaimer: I'm 99.9 percent kidding here. I don't really think they should do this.]
No legislation. We've got perfectly functional copyright laws on the books, they just need to be enforced. So my suggestion is that Hollywood studios hire out of work actors in LA and have them scour the internet for stolen intellectual property. Think about it:
* They'll work cheap. They're actors. We always screw ourselves over money-wise.
* They're online all day anyway looking for gigs, which often means "looking at LOLcats."
* They can do this work from their iPhone. This is important, because an actor values a job with a flexible schedule. This job would be something they could do for an audition, or sitting in traffic on the way TO an audition.
Next: give them an hourly rate, but keep that low. The real benefit here is putting a bounty on found stolen property. Be the first to report a copy of Danny Boy on a file sharing site and earn X dollars. Everybody loves a prize, right?
What does all this mean?
* Those pesky websites stealing content will be forced to take said content down. No need for lawsuits or fines--if content is found, just pull it down! That simple. Youtube does it all the time, those dicks.
* It takes the pressure off the owners of those sites to make sure their users aren't publishing stolen materials. That's expensive and can be profoundly inconsistent. Sure, it puts the cost of tracking stolen property onto the IP owners, but those studios have money coming out of their asses, they can afford it.
* It creates competition among those other sites. Sick of seeing the same photos on Reddit, TheChive, and six other web sites? With stronger enforcement, in order to stay relevant and entertaining, those guys will need to come up with new, fresh content. Which benefits their users (us!).
* It will benefit the little guy, sort of. With big studios hounding everyone about sharing stolen material, sites will be more hesitant to use the work of independent photographers, artists, songwriters, and filmmakers. This is not without flaws, but it gets the ball rolling a bit.
* Two words: JOB CREATION. All those out of work actors will have income to spend on skinny jeans and yoga mats. Everybody wins.
I know. This is completely ridiculous. But it's better than obtrusive, over-reaching government control, right?
Just think of Prince's war on Youtube. Selfish and obsessive, but it worked!