OPeX studios

OPeX studios

Los Angeles, CA


Why we, OPeX studios, stand against SOPA + PIPA

By sreeves
Jan 19, '12 3:28 PM EST

We at OPeX studios thought long and hard about how to communicate to the public why it is important for us, as a small startup company and as divergent thinkers, to participate in the fight against SOPA, PIPA, + CENSORSHIP. We arrived at the conclusion that using an example, a project of ours to be specific, is an effective way to illuminate the reasoning behind our stance. This project not only relies on access to open source of information for weaving layers of creativity into it, but also is an effort to encourage creative thinking within the Internet:

There are two critical components to the ideology of this project, which is titled “Square Inches of Love”:

ONE – A voice is a voice, no matter how small, and the power of collective.

  • We live in an era when social platforms and digital media have granted the human voice the opportunity to be amplified.
  • Think of the people of Iran during their 2009 post-election turmoil as an example. One day they were using their mobile devices for their everyday needs. The next day the protests happened and when things broke down they had access to mobile devices and social platforms and most importantly, they knew that their story mattered and would be heard. So, they recorded the events on their mobile devices and posted them on YouTube, facebook, and other social platforms for the world to see. They were uniquely poised to do what CNN, BBC, and other news media could not. (University of Michigan, “Future of Design” conference)

TWO – Every great idea stands on the shoulders of other great ideas.

  • Only collision of other great ideas or innovations can allow for an even greater idea to form. Ideas need to mingle and swap to create new forms. The great driver of innovation has been the historic increase in connectivity, in our ability to reach out and exchange ideas with other people, to borrow from other people and combine them with our own ideas and turn them into something new. This has been the primary engine of creativity over the last 600 or 700 years. (“Where Good Ideas Come From” by Steven Johnson).

Weaving the virtual and the real worlds became the ideology of the “Square Inches of Love” project in order to demonstrate to the public that virtual efforts can render great, tangible, outcomes for the society without necessarily relying on government or a large corporation.

Prior to the launch of the project, we had been exploring ways to create an exhibition that would address the weaving of the virtual and the real in a visual format. Rather than producing the content for the exhibition ourselves, we decided to come up with a way that would allow for people’s creativity, point of view, business advertisement, and message of hope, etc to become the focal point of exhibition. And we were excited to let anomalies and the “un-expected”s to breathe new layers of inspiration and creativity into the project.

We took some cues from the hunches of other successful projects such as AID’s quilt and the milliondollarhomepage to name a couple. The “Square Inches of Love” was formed…

Should SOPA + PIPA bills pass, as they are presented at the moment, here are some things that would directly affect us and a creative project like the “Square Inches of Love”:

  • The chance to be blocked from great precedents, vital thinkers, and vibrant sources of information from all around the globe, due to the fact that their material might have been blacklisted, will become very real. It would almost be like having a toolbox without any tools in it.
  • We will run the very real danger of being shut down because this project can not afford censorship, nor would it be possible for the "Square Inches of Love" to operate in a way that would conform to the current SOPA + PIPA bills.
  • The opportunity to explore cultural trends in unique and creative ways, such as the “Square Inches of Love” project, will undoubtedly suffer from censorship, if not silenced before formation.
  • Without the freedom to link, share, and swap information, we, along with many others, will run the danger of having to abide by passive consumerism rules rather than being active thinkers + creators.

You get the picture…
As the laws currently stand, OPeX studios or any other company could get their pants sued off them should they commit copyright-infringement crimes. So, why the need for censorship of the material by the government?

We DO NOT support Piracy. We are forever indebted to the industries that gave us Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Alfred Hitchcock, “Toy Story” and the list goes on…

But we DO NOT stand for censorship, and the disregard for the freedom of expression. This is NOT the legacy we would like to leave for our children; a world where the main answer to their “But Why?!?” question would be: “Because I Said So!”.


OPeX studios