Brendan Kelly and Joe Escalante comment on SOPA controversy

Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms et al) and Joe Escalante (The Vandals) have both made their thoughts known about SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act) in recent days, from markedly different positions. Kelly iterated his position on the prospective legislation, and the controversy around it, via his blog, Bad Sandwich Chronicles, whereas Escalante's comments were posted in a column on The Huffington Post.

Kelly's argument, being highly critical of opposition to SOPA, centres around the notion that Google's opposition to SOPA is driven by it's own interests, as a profit-driven corporate entity. He challenges the anti-SOPA campaign, alleging that much of it was based on corporate propoganda. The post moves through too many related topics to be accurately represented by a single excerpt, so please bear that in mind as you read this one:

'Some of the sites said to be potentially right on the chopping block (and this is some serious fearmongering bullshit to say the least) are our beloved Google (who practically has a [completely un-American] monopoly on what they do, for fucks sake. Look in the corner of your browser if you don’t believe me), Twitter, Facebook, file sharing websites, tube sites (including porn sites) and various news and gossip outlets that are, as of right now, operating more or less outside the law. A publication that I visit recently pointed out that copyright laws are very confusing and if they presented work from an artist with the artist’s American label’s consent, it’s quite possible that the label’s UK affiliate wouldn’t know, could object and bingo-bango, the whole website is shut down! HO-Lee-Shit!!!!!!'

You can read Brendan's complete piece here.

By contrast, Joe Escalante's column explains the train of thought that led him, a self proclaimed conservative, to move from supporting SOPA, to being a vehement opponent of the bill, a position prompted by his experiences with The Vandals' ongoing legal battle with Variety magazine:

'In Reed v. Escalante, et al, Variety is using burdensome litigation threats to deprive artists of due process. With SOPA, the media companies don't need that threat anymore. The law would provide cover. Victims can't strike back until the damage is done. That is a powerful sword to wield and I come from the future to tell you that they will not hesitate to stab anyone in their path with it, if it means making another nickel.'

You can read Joe's complete piece here.

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