Add the Wall Street Journal to the list of mainstream publications writing about just how damaging SOPA and PIPA would be. Former WSJ publisher, and now columnist, L. Gordon Crovitz, has written an opinion piece trashing the bills as being nothing more than Hollywood trying to "strangle" the internet
These bills would go so far to protect copyright that they would strangle the Internet with regulation. The Web would be transformed from a permissive technology where innovation is welcome to one where websites are shut down first, questions asked later.
Crovitz summarizes the situation by highlighting how frequently the entertainment industry has cried wolf in the past:
Hollywood is playing to stereotype, hoping to suppress technology as it did in 1982, when the late industry lobbyist Jack Valenti said the invention of the VCR was to the "American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler was to the woman home alone." Hollywood has since also fought DVD players, DVRs and MP3 players.
Technology makes many things possible, good and bad. One thing that seems a mission impossible is having laws keep up with the pace of change on the Internet. Hollywood's effort to create a different story line for the future of the Web is a horror show. Lawmakers should walk out.
While not the official position of the WSJ, it's good to see more mainstream pieces calling out the problems with SOPA and PIPA. It's really kind of amazing. The supporters of these bills really seemed to think they'd be approved without any real pushback. They're still trying to make such claims in our comments. The reality is that there's a growing public realization that a few big businesses who don't want to adapt are trying to saddle the innovation industry with regulations to slow down the pace of innovation. That goes against what most people want. Sooner or later, Congress is going to realize that you can't just vote for the bills that get the most lobbying dollars... if you won't be able to get the votes of your constituents when election season rolls around.