One of my favorite quotes from Hunter Ellinger is: “Necessity may be the mother of invention, but laziness is the father.” (I don’t know if he said it first, but that’s where I heard it first.)
I find that quote to be accurate in so many ways.
I look for how to get the most leverage and the quickest win. The normal arguments about doing the, “right thing”, unfortunately, don’t always apply. It doesn’t help that the industry itself isn’t really trusted or viewed as doing the “right thing.”
So in regards to SOPA and PIPA – we have to ask: “what are the real goals here?”
If the REAL goal is to sponsor the artists and make their lives sustainable, then we need to take advantage of people’s laziness. Set up something like iTunes appstore for individual artists and give them a fair cut.
Or perhaps we should better pursue something like YouTube’s commodification for popular creators/posters. If you have a popular enough channel, you can actually make a living off of it. But then, YouTube actually understands the Long Tail in regards to content creation.
Another option would be something like a donation jar like the website http://flattr.com/ which allows you to give micropayments to content creators and bloggers.
I also like the idea of microdonations for nonprofits. But again, make it easy… Appstore purchases are only a password away!
Also don’t force me to “steal” to enjoy something I have already purchased.
RIAA and MPAA need to start looking towards more convenient purchase models like iTunes and Paypal. (Though Paypal could be a lot easier IMHO.) It is so easy for me to do “the right thing” on iTunes. Imagine instead that more artists saw direct profits like developers do on the appstore… How would that change many peoples’ purchasing habits?
I also hope and dream that someday Facebook will realize the amazing monitization that could occur if they looked at things a little more like YouTube and realized that we are not the content to be sold to advertisers but instead are the artists that could be supported by our friends.