Once More, With Feeling: It Wasn't Silicon Valley Or Google That Stopped SOPA/PIPA, It Was The Internet

from the wake-up-folks dept

Over the last week, after SOPA and PIPA were put on life support, we’ve noticed an incredibly tone deaf response from the supporters of these bills, lashing out at the wrong parties and trying to figure out where to place the blame. The usual target has been “the tech industry,” by which they usually mean “Google.” That’s why the MPAA’s Chris Dodd wants to sit down with “tech companies” at the White House to discuss this. It’s why the head of the movie theaters’ lobbying group, NATO, brushes this whole thing off as Google “flexing” its muscles. As we’ve said all along, that not only misses the point, and is totally tone deaf to what happened, but it pretty much guarantees the wrong response from supporters of the bill.

Larry Downes has a great piece over at Forbes making this point and tracing back who really “stopped” SOPA and PIPA (full disclaimer: Downes gives me unnecessarily nice billing in the piece, providing too much credit for my early coverage of the bills). The key point that he makes is that this wasn’t about “tech companies” or “Google” rising up — but about internet users. And until the bills’ supporters understand this, they’re going to make the same mistakes over and over again:

The sponsors of SOPA and PIPA don’t even know who stopped them cold. But supporters of the proposed laws are retrenching anyway, preparing to launch a new assault on an enemy it hasn’t identified.

Given both their arrogance and ignorance, it goes without saying that the content industries are unlikely to avoid similar catastrophes in the future, let alone find a way to work collaboratively with a political force they don’t know—or believe–exists.

This is the message that many people are trying to get out there, and which keeps getting dismissed. Perhaps an even stronger point was made by the many, many people “in Hollywood” who came out against the bill as well. Take a look at what the Future of Music Coalition had to say on the matter, highlighting that anyone who thinks this is “Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley” is missing the point in a big bad way.

Unfortunately, some folks seem to be missing that point entirely, and are clinging to the idea that the SOPA/PIPA kerfluffle was simply Big Content vs. Silicon Valley.

We beg to differ.

Among the millions of people who voiced concerns about the scope and application of these bills were many copyright owners. We’re talking tens of thousands of arts and culture reps and even individual artists like MGMT, Trent Reznor, Amanda Palmer, Jason Mraz, Zoe Keating and more. What does this tell us? That a lot of folks with skin in the game are uncomfortable with Washington trade groups like the MPAA and RIAA claiming to represent their interests.

This isn’t about “Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley.” This is about “the internet” vs. the old way that things were done (artificial scarcity, backrooms and gatekeepers). Misunderstanding that key point will lead to the same mistakes again and again. Understanding this presents a clear path forward.

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Companies: google, mpaa

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Comments on “Once More, With Feeling: It Wasn't Silicon Valley Or Google That Stopped SOPA/PIPA, It Was The Internet”

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Jay (profile) says:

Just a thought...

For some reason, every SOPA supporter can’t get over the fact that Google was involved. So when the internet revolts, it’s Google’s fault. Let’s face it… Google is Ned Flanders. He doesn’t do much to attract heat but gets it for just being himself.

Then you have the tone deaf Homers who get jealous of Flanders’ success. And they never compromise because it’s Google’s fault.

Stupid sexy Google…

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Just a thought...

Of course, you could frame it as the exact opposite too: Homer is eager and bombastic, and when he gets an idea, no matter how crazy, he runs with it – potential failure be damned – and it often works out for him. If he fails, it rolls right off his back and he moves on to the next crazy idea.

Flanders lives by a strict set of rules, thinking and re-thinking every action before taking it, and feeling a lasting guilt over the slightest misstep or failure. When he doesn’t understand something, he denies and ignores it – and if it is undeniable and unignorable, he faints.

Now which one sounds like the innovators and which one sounds like the gatekeepers?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Just a thought...

come on, its the government, everything they do, is for the benefit of the people who gave them and *continues* to give them their power

Its not like they’ve been doing this type of thing throughout history, and are only just now getting opposition from an entity that has the means to communicate instantly on masse, on ALL kinds of issues

That would be downright …..unlikely

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: Just a thought...

How about a bunch of hackers get into the Hollywood System and release their semi-illegal or maybe even illegal ways of Accounting showing losses on films that made 100’s of millions if not a billion dollars.
Wil Wheaton has commented his thoughts on supposed “LOSSES”.
Hollywood you have the intelligence of a slug and the people are not as stupid as you think.
You screwed with the World and continue to do so.
The Internet has warned you.Now it is time to get their DIRT IN THE OPEN.
Let the World judge them !

Skeptical Cynic (profile) says:

Shows very clearly how they think.

See when you are so entrenched in the methods and ways of dying, long tail businesses you can only see it from that view.

You see Google as the bad guy because you can’t see the little guy as anything but a minor nuisance. In the old way of thinking it’s get big or die and therefore only the big matter.

To prove my point I give you an inspirational quote from “A Bug’s Life” the movie:

You let one ant stand up to us, then they all might stand up! Those puny little ants outnumber us a hundred to one and if they ever figure that out there goes our way of life! It’s not about food, it’s about keeping those ants in line. That’s why we’re going back! Does anybody else wanna stay?

Skeptical Cynic (profile) says:

Re: Shows very clearly how they think.

Here is another one:

Hopper: Let this be a lesson to all you ants! Ideas are very dangerous things! You are mindless, soil-shoving losers, put on this Earth to serve us!

Flik: You’re wrong, Hopper. Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers. I’ve seen these ants do great things, and year after year they somehow manage to pick food for themselves *and* you. So-so who is the weaker species? Ants don’t serve grasshoppers! It’s *you* who need *us*! We’re a lot stronger than you say we are… And you know it, don’t you?

I just don’t think they know it yet.

MrWilson says:

Ultimately, I think it’s because corporations and their human puppets don’t see humans as people. Only corporations are people. So if someone is to blame, it has to be another corporation. Since corporations only use humans as chattel or puppets, they can’t perceive that the masses are anything but puppets or chattel for another corporation.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

I was having this same discussion with someone on G+ this morning.

‘ I actually see Google as the entertainment industries “Jew”, “Black”, “Them” that is used to rally people to a cause.

“It is not your fault you are poor, starving, and out of work, its Google.” It is an old technique that works, blaming someone else for your failings.’

Google has been their assumed enemy, and focal point, a while now. They do not get the fact that through their law suits, lobbied for laws, lies, spin, and half truths, they have pissed off a sizable chunk of the people online. With the shut down of MegaUpload, and the pulling up of the drawbridges of other file locker sites, they have pissed off about a quarter billion people. So the next round of protests and actions will be even more interesting.

Welcome to the internet, please do not poke the hornets nest.

MRK says:

I think corporations had more to do with killing SOPA/PIPA than you give them credit for. If Google and other major players had not opposed it, I suspect our representatives would have simply ignored the internet protest. After all, Congressmen/Senators rarely give much through to the individual, and care even less to what people on the internet. After all most of our representatives don’t even use the internet, and are proud of it.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Worldviews & Magical Thinking

I wonder how much of this tone-defaness is the result of a worldview so deeply held that they don’t even realize they’re holding it: the world of gatekeepers. They’ve been in a corporate-run world for so long, it may not even occur to them that anything of political importance could possible come from any source other than corporate. If you are trying to understand the situation purely as corporate-on-corporate action, then the tech industries in general, and Google in particular, would obviously have to be the source of opposition. That this doesn’t reflect reality dramatically illustrates how disconnected media companies have become, not just on this issue, but in general.

Or, there is a more charitable explanation: they know full well that it’s not Hollywood vs Silicon Valley — but given that their main goal is to prevent the loss of corporate control over media, they are intentionally presenting it that way as a means of distraction for the people and as a sort of magical thinking. They’d prefer this be hot corporate-on-corporate action over the alternative and are hoping that if they just keep speaking of it in those terms they will make it so.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Worldviews & Magical Thinking

They’ve been in a corporate-run world for so long, it may not even occur to them that anything of political importance could possible come from any source other than corporate.

This. What we had here was the first real grassroots (or “bitroots” as Larry Downes put it) movement in this country in possibly a generation with a very clear goal – killing SOPA/PIPA.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Worldviews & Magical Thinking

I think connected-ness is finally reaching a critical mass for social information and not just facts and data. People are more aware of how others are living even due to the mundane details of “i just ate a sandwich” type of social network posts. I think its starting to breed a solidarity that hasn’t been around before that is not simply mob/populist mentality but invovles some actual thought and research from others besides elected authoritative people. If you watched the state of the union, Obama kept talkign about ‘fair.’ I think people are fair and becoming more fair with my connectedness and the empathizing that follows. This ‘fairness’ is what is causing the conflict because people see laws and rules and taxes etc that are developed in closed circles where fairness can’t be debated.

Kevin H (profile) says:

I saw this on reddit. Thought it might add to the discussion:

“Thank you for contacting me about the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I appreciate hearing from you.
The bipartisan PIPA bill (S. 968) was introduced to rein in foreign-based websites that have no purpose other than to sell or distribute pirated or counterfeit goods. U.S. law enforcement agencies already have authority to seize and shut down domestic websites that are dedicated to violating copyright or counterfeiting laws, and hundreds of sites have been shut down in recent years. However, our law enforcement agencies lack effective tools to stop foreign-based websites that are dedicated to the same illegal behavior. These websites deprive American innovators and businesses of revenue and result in the loss of American jobs.
PIPA aims to close the gap in our laws that enables rogue websites to simply locate themselves overseas in order to avoid accountability for stealing American intellectual property and selling pirated and counterfeit goods to Americans. The legislation would authorize the Justice Department to seek a court-ordered injunction against a foreign website if the court found the website to be dedicated to illegal piracy or counterfeiting. If an injunction were issued by the court, it could be served upon third-party payment processors, advertising networks, search engines and other companies who would then be obligated to take reasonable steps to cease doing business with the infringing website.
The drafters of this legislation tried to address the serious problem of foreign rogue websites in a way that respects due process, protects freedom of legislation, and preserves the vitality of the Internet. However, I have heard from many constituents that PIPA and a more expansive bill introduced in the House of Representatives, SOPA, fail to strike the right balance between the goals of combating illegal piracy and protecting the Internet. Both the House and
the Senate have postponed consideration of these bills in order to engage in more discussion with stakeholders and achieve more consensus on a legislative approach. I support these efforts and hope that stakeholders can agree on a reasonable solution that addresses these important issues.
I will keep your concerns in mind as the Senate continues to consider these matters. Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch.
Sincerely, Richard J. Durbin United States Senator”


Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

To add to this, here is the response I received from Senator Ben Cardin (emphasis added):

“Thank you for writing to me regarding the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (“PROTECT IP” or “PIPA”) (S.968). I value your input and appreciate your willingness to take the time to share your thoughts with me on this important issue.

The Internet is the transformational tool that it is because of the freedoms it allows and the connections that it helps make possible. At the same time, the reality is that Internet piracy costs America’s economy billions of dollars each year and hundreds of thousands of jobs. There is a common awareness that something must be done to stop this theft of American intellectual property, whether it be movies, music, journalism, or engineering designs. I believe that we can find a way to balance the freedoms essential to a vital and ever changing online world, with protections necessary to fight illegal activity solely designed to steal and cheat.

PIPA is narrowly tailored legislation that does differ from the much broader Stop Online Piracy Act (“SOPA”) legislation currently pending in the House of Representatives. Nonetheless, there are real concerns with PIPA, as currently drafted, that still need to be addressed. Based on many concerns, the Senate decided not to take up the debate on this issue immediately. I will continue to seek out meaningful alternatives that would fix the bill’s current flaws.

Thank you, again, for writing to me regarding this important issue and feel free to contact me with any future concerns.”

It really bothers me that these talking points are still being thrown around like they have any credibility. Cardin is one of the sponsors of PIPA, and he has stated that he will not support the legislation until issues are addressed. This response was originally from an email I sent him to thank him for withdrawing support and to urge him to drop the legislation entirely. It would seem that he would like to still try and move forward with it, and I find that extremely troubling. I have sent him another request to back up the claims that I highlighted in bold, and I expect I’ll get some boilerplate reply that dodges the fact that the GAO (among others) have completely debunked the loss claims from the content industries and have shown no conclusive evidence that file-sharing has any impact on sales. I’ll keep my fingers crossed hoping to get a more positive response, but I’m sure not going to hold my breath.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“There is a common awareness that something must be done to stop this theft of American intellectual property, whether it be movies, music, journalism, or engineering designs.”

There was a “common awareness” that…
The Earth was flat.
Certain ethnic groups were inferior to other ethnic groups and should be subservient to their “superiors”.
The Holocaust never happened.

Congratulations, Senator Ben Cardin.
You’re now in the same category as Flat Earthers, slaveowners, and Holocaust deniers, an august company that will welcome you with open arms, boy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Dear $user,

Thank you for contacting me to express your thoughts regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act. It is good to hear from you.

On October 26, 2011, Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21) introduced H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA),to grant the U.S. attorney general the authority to seek court orders requiring Internet Service Providers(ISP) (Comcast, Verizon, etc.) and Internet search engines (like Google) to stop providing links to foreign websites whose primary purpose is to steal and sell American intellectual property. In addition, the bill requires, upon an order of a court, payment network providers like PayPal to cut off payments to,and Internet advertisers to stop advertising for, those infringing, foreign websites. The bill is currently being considered by the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced S.968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity andTheft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act, which has the same general goal of protecting Americaningenuity. The PROTECT IP Act was reported by voice vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is currently awaiting consideration by the full Senate.

The aim of the SOPA ? to protect the intellectual property of Americans from foreign, rogue websites? is well-intentioned, but I have concerns with requiring ISPs and search engines to block access to websites. Because of this, I am unable to support the bill in its current form. There is no doubt a need for legislation to provide individuals and entities who possess copyrights and patents with the legal protections they deserve; however, I believe it is possible to accomplish this goal without infringing upon the rights of the American people. Please know that I will keep your thoughts in mind as my colleagues and I work toward a solution to combat online piracy.

Thank you again for contacting me to express your thoughts regarding intellectual property legislation.
Please continue to keep me informed of the issues important to you and be sure to visit my website, http://www.womack.house.gov,for more information and to sign up for my newsletter.

rubberpants says:

Poor Strategy

The reason they’ve taken up this talking-point is that they are trying to convince lawmakers that their constituents don’t care about this and that all the opposition is just coming from another big corporation.

They’re wrong of course and I expect that it will come back to sting them; like trying to kill a swarm of bees with a sniper rifle.

Skeptical Cynic (profile) says:

Re: Re:

After reading it through I agree with you. Basically what he is saying it that we are playing wack-a-mole. We defeat SOPA and then next year we get something else but this time they try to be sneakier. (They have does this before) Maybe break the large law in to small pieces that they pass as 1 line in 2700 page bill.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

True, but the opposition has come late to the game, and simply started emulating the contents industries rules/methods.

They played whack a mole, we play whack a mole.
They got practice being sneaky with their laws/restrictions, we got sneakier with our circumventions.

The difference is they don’t know how to adapt, we do, and we are starting to see people adapt their techniques to fight this scourge.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Actually, I’ve been boycotting several of the companies/associations (mostly Sony and the RIAA) for several years now. IT was a bit of an inconvenience at first (especially with trying to avoid buying anything from a company as large as Sony), but over the years I’ve found a lot of alternative to their products that are just as good, if not better, and a lot more affordable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

He sounds angry, but not wrong.
Everything he said there appears to be correct and he is very well literate on how politics works so no surprises there he knows what most people are just starting to realize what needs to be done and that is to attack the root causes of it, but boycotting industries doesn’t help that much it is hard and it doesn’t bring lasting changes, we need real change and to do that we need to take the power from Washington and put it on the hands of people, people need to start drafting their legislation, debating it and being part of the process and use politicians only as socked puppets just like the Tea Party did and like Koizumi in Japan, that is the first step the second step is get rid of all the monopoly powers that were granted that includes copyrights and patents, those are monopoly powers they don’t tend to go down, they only grow and get abused over time, there is no such a thing as balanced copyright, checks and balances it gets distorted as time goes by and monopolists have very strong incentives to improve their monopolies more than people so if we don’t want to have this kind of action every 100 years or so people should realize that there is no balance in granted monopolies it can’t be controlled and it can’t be trusted more it is painful to remove it once it gets a hold.

Jason (profile) says:

We are the internet

They literally cannot believe that 10 million people (constituents, voters…) were moved to action. Sure google and wikipedia informed lots of people. But everyone then took their OWN actions.

That they may be facing millions of people who do not just disagree, but profoundly and completely disagree with them is far far to terrifying for the media companies to acknowledge. But our representatives did acknowledge it. 10 million people is a LOT of votes.

My big problem is that I really like movies, TV, and music. But I VALIUE the internet more.

If I have to choose, if I have to pick one or the other, I will keep the internet and will turn my back on movies, TV, and music (at least corporate version of them) FOREVER.

“The Internet is the computer” – Sun, 1999

“The People are the Internet” – 2012

And if the Internet is build to route around damage, we have to ask what represents the damage in this case? (Media companies, this is not a one time event, this is only the beginning)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: We are the internet

My big problem is that I really like movies, TV, and music. But I VALIUE the internet more.

I fail to see this as a real problem. Once the gatekeepers are gone there will actually be more variety, more choice. using music as a perfect example, I’ve purchased maybe 200-330 albums in the last several years, and not a single one of them comes from an RIAA label.

Alternative movies and TV shows are still harder to come by, but I think that is just a matter of time.

ced1106 (profile) says:

Re: We are the internet

> My big problem is that I really like movies, TV, and music. But I VALIUE the internet more.

If I have to choose, if I have to pick one or the other, I will keep the internet and will turn my back on movies, TV, and music (at least corporate version of them) FOREVER.

Actually, I found this to be pretty darn easy. I originally stopped watching teevee (and more PBS) because I hated to watch commercials. Then, thanks to the internet (and Sims 3!) I got used to watching entertainment on *my* schedule, not theirs. Thanks to the lowering prices of DVDs, I’ve already amassed a ridiculous collection of DVDs I haven’t seen yet, of shows that are even cancelled. And, thanks to SOPA, I’m now reading TechDirt and reddit on a daily basis. It also doesn’t hurt that some content providers *do* understand how the internet works — I’m perfectly happy to watch my anime (ahem) on Crunchyroll.com on my iPad. Yeah, the commercials are back, but at least there’s this Skip button on the iPad. (:

Anonymous Coward says:

since when has anyone from the entertainment industries or the government (including Senators and Congress people) recognised, let alone admitted to, the truth? instead of dropping this whole SOPA/PIPA bullshit as a disaster and saying why, then concentrating on serious matters, they keep bringing up Google because someone in the ‘gangs’ mentioned above has got it in for Google. whether they have done anything to deserve it or not. i still reckon that sooner or later Google needs to up stakes and move to another country. see what affect that has on the US economy and what criticism they get then! what they need is the balls to do it!

Jenny says:

Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley at Davos

Here’s a very bizarre keynote address at Davos today by a disgruntled media mogul wanting help from the bankers and billionaires. He was slamming the conference, Silicon Valley, SOPA, the Bilderbergers – it was all over the map – but entertaining.


David (profile) says:

Here's the funny thing

The point that everyone seems to miss is that the internet has again acted as a communication medium. In the same way that the legacy distribution channels for content are now obsolete, because the content can be quickly disseminated over the ‘net, the people who were heard were not limited to those who actually took the time to (and succeeded in) getting an appointment with their congressmen. Many more people’s voices were heard.

Could the Internet become the thing that makes true democracy possible?

Anonymous Coward says:

MGMT, Trent Reznor, Amanda Palmer, Jason Mraz, Zoe Keating

The usual whining suspects. Trent has done really well getting rich off of copyrighted movie music. I am sure he hasn’t been turning down the checks. He would certainly be bitching if he had to give back the money and get a mcjob to support his “art”.

Gwiz (profile) says:

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

– “For What It’s Worth” Buffalo Springfield (Stephen Stills) 1966

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

Too much credit? I don't think so.

“””Larry Downes has a great piece over at Forbes making this point and tracing back who really “stopped” SOPA and PIPA (full disclaimer: Downes gives me unnecessarily nice billing in the piece, providing too much credit for my early coverage of the bills).”””

Mike, maybe you just don’t realize how much credit you deserve. When your stories are regularly featured on slashdot, you are reaching a LOT of people. When you keep hammering on how bad all of these stupid bills are, people cannot help but take a bit of notice.

Personally, I think you played a very big part in getting these bills (at least temporarily) shut down. For that sir, I salute you. Keep up the good fight, and thanks for all of your hard work!

Anonymous Coward says:

The internet by comparison to many other innoventions, is still quite young and is still trying to define itself

‘What is the internet’, to me, i have to break it down to the most basic lowest common denominator, as its just to difficult to describe the internet as a whole, considering many things that can

so when i think about the internet, the word that jumps out to me, is Sharing, thats the best way to describe it, thats the powerfull nature of the internet, the very foundation, the thing that every thing that the internet is capable of, can be brought back to

shutting down megaupload, to my eyes affects the very nature of the internet, what for, ignorance, political pressure, secrecy, competition, money

and it does’nt help the fact that the internet seems to be the last place where the public truly has a say, and the people in power have a torchlight shun upon it, giving past histories, am i to beleive it is in the best interest of the internet, not bloody likely, but please, prove me wrong

That for me, not google not sillicon valley……. is why i will never support bills like SOPA/PIPA/ACTA, and any other bills for that matter, that does’nt take the publics opinion into account,

Stop trying to shape the internet, it is what it is, let it grow

Heretic3e7 says:

Google and Wikipedia

Google and Wikipedia didn’t call for the 1/18 blackout. They didn’t lead it. They joined in.

Blame Google all you want but the hard truth is that the MPAA and RIAA pissed off the nation. They were lucky that it was only the internet this time. At the rate they are going, they will alienate the entire nation before too long.

I wonder who they will blame for that.

Anonymous Coward says:

No, it was not the “internet”. It was people (whose age, voting statuts, etc. are unknown) who used the internet to send an email or petition.

While it is a good thing any time a new means of commuinication is created, the SOPA/PIPA matter fairly illustrates how such a means can be abused. Feed enough FUD to the “masses” using plainly misleading buzz words calculated to cause a moral panic or moral outrage, and you too can garner support from the woefully uninformed.

I learned just the other night during the State of the Union Reelection Kick-off Speech that Warren Buffett pays the same in taxes as his secretary. It must be true because the President said so. I think it proper to immediately start a petition to the White House to cure this unfairness by lending his secretary a helping hand.

bshock (profile) says:

was this really just an internet victory?

Hi Mike:

What’s your opinion of this article from David Rodnitzsky at PPC Associates, where he tried to do a little amateur sleuthing about anti-SOPA groups: http://www.ppcassociates.com/blog/experience/lobbyists-1-internet-0-an-alternative-take-on-sopa/

I am aggressively against any government’s attempt to regulate the Internet. But if this latest Internet victory significantly involves astroturf, I’d like to know about it.

richard columbare says:

why the defeat of sopa &pippa was so important

Once governments see the power of information sent to the public it intimidates them. If you have been watching the revolutions taking place in countrys around the world you will see that it is the free spreading of information over the social networks that have been the fuel for them. That is why governments under attack shut down cell phones and internet services if they can. Sopa and Pippa are the first manuever by the our representatives in Congress to control the internet,be on the watch for them to try again in some secretive manner. Their bills never mean what they say!

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