Every few months, the corporate entertainment industry suckers some congressperson(s) into sponsoring a bill that seems on its surface to be an attempt to curb content piracy in America—but ends up having sinister possibilities.
Many of these bills end up not making it into law, but that doesn't keep the film, television and music industries from trying over and over again, and that's the case with the recently introduced PROTECT IP Act in the Senate, and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House.
It's hard to stand up for people who pirate copyrighted content online, but these laws would allow both the government and media companies to start tinkering with the Internet's domain-name system (DNS)—essentially the roadmap of the Internet—in an attempt to keep American users away from pirated material. However, since most sources of pirated media are hosted outside of the United States, the sites would still exist, and they could still be found, creating a sort of shadow Internet that would be even more difficult to police and control.
Even worse, the House bill would create new penalties for American sites that don't do enough to keep pirated content off their online space. The problem: Who decides what would be "enough"?
Considering that the music industry forced YouTube to drop a video because of a song playing on the television in the background, I'd rather not leave the policing of the Internet in their hands.
The week on The Range
We were saddened by the death of TUSD board member Judy Burns; watched the arguments and lawsuits fly over the Independent Redistricting Committee; were puzzled by Frank Antenori's personality on Twitter; looked at the latest polls in the presidential race; noted that Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is exploring a run for Congress; watched as the Democratic National Committee took on Mitt Romney in Arizona; read Matt Taibbi's take on outrage toward the banking industry; enjoyed Herman Cain's strange advertisement and encouraged Jonathan Rothschild to try harder; and talked out the week in politics on the Arizona Illustrated Political Roundtable, hosted by Jim Nintzel.
We met Adam Block, who photographs the skies from Mount Lemmon; watched the Wildcat Print Association make T-shirts; introduced you to a cat needing a home; shared some ridiculous moments in contemporary gambling; questioned why the world needs a Three Stooges movie; wondered why someone would throw naked photos at elephants; provided makeup tips; previewed MTV's look at Occupy Wall Street; and watched the return of the network's true stars, Beavis and Butt-head.
We suggested you do some drinking for a good cause; welcomed the idea of a Tucson food truck festival; ate breakfast at Green Gourmet and drank at the World Margarita Championship; enjoyed some break-dancing with our chili; and watched some rappers express their love for pizza.
We remembered Tucson music legend Sam Taylor; listened to new music from Mexican Institute of Sound and the Black Keys; scratched our heads while watching a video from Japanese cute-metal-act Babymetal; talked Canadian superheroes and Batman with Heroes and Villains; clutched our virtual handlebars while riding a new BMX track in town; scolded Showtime for not being HBO; and began a quest to take over the "home arts" competitions at next year's Pima County Fair.
Comment of the week
"I still cannot get over 'Swan-dress Gate.' She is the queen of the pretentiously avant grade; I'm sure Lady Gaga will copy this next." —No matter what Björk does, to TucsonWeekly.com commenter "Rachael Sacks," she'll always be the swan-dress lady ("Björk: Biophilia," Rhythm & Views, Oct. 20).
Best of WWW
If you were thinking that Tucson needed an event featuring pumpkins being catapulted through the air, then last week's Pumpkin Toss was a dream come true. Teams created their own experiments in practical physics on the University of Arizona mall—and Kellie Mejdrich captured the gourd-smashing.
Also, it's never too early to plan ahead, so get your datebook out and mark down the Club Crawl® dates for 2012: April 21 for the spring edition, and Oct. 6 in the fall. If you have plans already for those dates, you're clearly a very busy person—so cancel them! Your wedding can wait a week for Tucson's biggest nights of live music, right?