Predictions of SOPA and its effect on voice over casting

Posted on December 23, 2011 by

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No Internet for You!

Warning: I am not mincing words today. I have not written about this on Voice123, mainly because I was hoping it would just go away. I am referring to the SOPA bill. You can read more about it here in Fred Wilson’s latest Business Insider update. I am offering my predictions on how the SOPA bill will affect online casting, especially Voice123.

I remember something I was told when in college and trying to decide between a career as an actor or lawyer (You know law schools try to recruit actors?) :

  • “Steven, the ultimate collapse of the United States will happen because of lawmakers. They write the laws that govern society through court rulings, and often do so for personal financial reasons. It’s why I became one.”

Still, years later, I find that comment disgusting. To be blunt, here are my predictions:

If you are a user of online casting services, not just Voice123, SOPA would mean the following for the hundreds and thousands of those, who have transformed their lives, and lived independently, as their own boss, because of the last ten years on the Internet:

  • Online casting sites will come under attack for the same ignorant, fear-mongering reasons behind the current bill, giving many legal right to shut us down.
  • The work will shift back towards major cities (which many who never grasped working online will love)  putting thousands out of work, for the needs of a select few.
  • Say goodbye to an Internet of free speech, and hello to a digital trade-show filled with copyrights that will only bring more work to lawyers.
  • Say goodbye to ever being allowed to share an original, creative thought online in social media, if you seemingly did not realize it was derived from someone else. You know how people LOVE to sue each other.
  • Good luck trying to find work online anywhere. Get your paper resumes ready, gas up the car at $4 a gallon, buy new outfits, and budget in that money for commuting.
  • Get ready for a new day and age of industry blacklisting, and abusive lawsuits that strip the creative freedom of an artist, unless they conform to an industry standard.
  • Good people will lose work, and growth in organized crime will seep in. You cannot force people to dumb-down to a law. They will go around it. It is human nature.
  • Finally, well…it has been a pleasure to serve you, but our days of getting work for full-time voice over professionals, without commission, and plenty of customer service, will be over. Hope your phone starts ringing.

Through all of the debates so far, the bill does not focus on one question: “Will the country be better off because of it?”. Maybe we should analyze the results of our declarations of war on terror, education, obesity, drugs, and alcohol. Ummm…Let’s see…We are the 27th smartest country in the world and the most depressed, heaviest, most addicted to drugs, with a serious organized crime problem in the southwest. We seem addicted to declaring war on things, and we end up educating ourselves less while paying out more money for things that offer no true protection.

The thing that has always been special about the Internet is that no one “owns it”. It is a place to network, grow, transform and combine what you learn. I even met my wife online. Yet, some very successful companies have failed to keep up, and they did what every good corporation does when they are losing at the game capitalism…They conduct a blame-storming session, and try to get laws passed that protect their personal financial interests.

This is just my prediction. I could be wrong. Please see this post from Reddit which instructs you on: “How to Stop SOPA the Correct Way”, if that is of interest to you.

What are your thoughts on SOPA and these predictions?

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“Cant we all just get along”

Steven Lowell Steven is the Community Manager of Voice123