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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In Anticipation of SOPA and PIPA...

If you're wondering where there hasn't been an update recently, I can explain that... in a few ways.

One, I'm in the process of translating this blog into a fully functional .com, and that eats up most of my days. Two, all good lists come in threes. And three, this is what would happen to the website, and this blog, is SOPA and PIPA are passed. The Filmgoer's Project would cease to be, in all forms.

How, well... let's look at it this way. Formally, this website cannot endorse the act of piracy. And when I say piracy, I mean stream movies and moving images in an effort to view without payment. Personally, I see nothing wrong with this. But, it's bad business to tell you that 90% of the reviews on this blog have come from viewing pirated films, and that I've made a living for myself - quite a nice living, actually - using moving images, .gifs, and .jpgs or .pngs that I've found online as the result of a free, and accessible internet.

Note - I am in no way endorsing the pirating of motion pictures or television programs. I am, however, endorsing a free and accessible internet. Wikipedia has closed its doors today, as a protest, and as a note to show what the SOPA and PIPA acts would do. Google has done the same.

And as I have readers all over the world, big and small, and quite a few that are employed at the studios whose films I critique, I wish to offer this as a thought -

When I built this site, I did so with Awards Daily in mind. And The Film Experience. And Roger Ebert's Chicago Sun Times pages. I use Tumblr, I use Google Images, IMDb, YouTube, Wikipedia, and a slew of other internet resources on a daily basis to run this website, to build the impending .com, and to keep true to the original mission statement of what The Filmgoer's Project actually is -

The Filmgoer's Project, which really should be looked at as The Filmgoers' Project, is meant to encourage people to watch everything they can, at all times, and to look at art in a new way. It's meant to educate people about the more technical and inspirational side of a craft that even Hollywood assumes we take for granted. And it's been doing that, gaining a steady viewership since its birth in November 2010. And I want to thank the multitude of people who come to this site daily, looking to learn and enjoy themselves.

However, this is what would change with the implementation of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act -

1. YouTube would be limited, if not made to be paid for. So, In Theaters This Weekend would change dramatically.
2. Google Images would crash. So, no more cool pictures and funny captions before articles.
3. Wikipedia would cease to be, as would IMDb (as we know it) and hundreds of other informational websites that were made be people who were either bored, encouraged, or pissed off.

Would you pay for Wikipedia, in addition to your car bill, mortgage, and phone bills? What about Google? Or IMDb? What about Awards Daily? Or, rather, would you pay to read The Filmgoer's Project?

I wouldn't. Not because I don't value those websites and contribute to them as often as possible, regardless of the partnerships I've had with Google and Amazon and Ebay and Fandango and again - a slew of websites that would be hurt by these laws. It's because I shouldn't fucking have to.

And now, here's a picture of a stapler -