Thursday, January 19, 2012

Strike's Over...Time For Phase Two

The Internet strike against SOPA/PIPA has been called a success, even by media outlets who tried to ignore the issue before, but one of the most baffling things was that pretty much the vast majority of the confirmed "flips" in Congress were on the GOP side of the aisle, with a clutch of Democrats clinging to the idea that this bill (and presumably their Hollywood campaign money) can be saved.

These are Rep. Mel Watt's (D-NC 12) words during the infamously lopsided SOPA hearing, the one during which they proved what a bad faith law this was going to be by choosing to only invite one witness for the opposition (as reported by HuffPo).
"In my experience there's usually only one thing at stake when we have long lines outside a hearing as we do today, and when giant companies, like the ones opposing this bill, and their supporters start throwing around rhetoric like, 'This bill will kill the Internet,' [...] That one thing is usually money."
If his words possibly stand for the suddenly inflexible Democrats who stuck to their guns during today's action (and Watt made a point of saying "I don't think the bill is dead" before the end of the day, so he obviously hasn't budged an inch), they've fatally misread this situation as a case of one set of companies vs. another set of companies. As with anything involving intellectual property and the Internet, it's the legal arm of the American entertainment industry vs. everybody outside of their bubble. That's you. That's me. That's everyone we know.

I am deeply ashamed of Chris Dodd, who threw decades of public service goodwill away with a nasty snarl against us and our motivations that you wouldn't expect from a guy who claimed to carry a pocket Constitution with him every day, but is depressingly familiar to netizens as being within the capability of someone who heads the MPAA.  A man who sells his soul to one of the most widely reviled industry groups in the United States has surrendered his moral right to call anybody a "corporate pawn." So yeah, he's dead to me.

I put a gadget in my sidebar which links to a Demand Progress action site, where you can send your reps a pledge to vote against anybody who backs SOPA/PIPA, regardless of your party affiliation. This isn't anywhere near over, and if we go back to sleep now we're guaranteed to lose everything we gained in credibility today. Dodd's statement snidely refers to strikes and blackouts being Internet "pranks". Let's prank a few jerks out of office.

No comments: