Kevin Rose's tweet about SOPA was one of the funniest, "didn't shower today, avoiding all things SOPA sounding." I have to give my chemist mom credit, though, for coming up with the non-obvious, Mexican soup angle. (Tangentially, I'd like to thank every incubator, tech blog, and startup for having me misspell "angle" half the time.)
Until yesterday, I could not adequately describe SOPA or PIPA - this, despite the amazing efforts of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, noted bloggers, and even a few more mainstream publications willing to risk corporate wrath for expressing views against the bills. That is why this post focuses less on a topic about which I am absolutely unqualified to voice a meaningful opinion and more on my thanks for not just the connected universe but some of the largest platforms deciding to get together to help educate and raise awareness en masse (as well a way for me to memorialize said appreciation.)
Yesterday, was eye opening and inspiring. The internet got together to defend itself and to make us aware of what it does for us. It got together to show us how lucky we are, how the internet is the Constitution 2.0, how it is a framework that enables innovation, helps keep us all in check, and despite the glaring power controlled by a few, still promises the American dream of anyone being able to create a better life for themselves and others.
Of the articles I read about SOPA and PIPA, I like the explanation/opinion given by MythBuster's Adam Savage in a December 20, 2011 article in Popular Mechanics, where he says:
Make no mistake: These bills aren't simply unconstitutional, they are anticonstitutional. They would allow for the wholesale elimination of entire websites, domain names, and chunks of the DNS (the underlying structure of the whole Internet), based on nothing more than the "good faith" assertion by a single party that the website is infringing on a copyright of the complainant. The accused doesn't even have to be aware that the complaint has been made.
Reading the descriptions of the bills and opinions of business and tech thought leaders (these stories are a mix of fact and opinion), makes me sad.
I'm said because the fight around SOPA & PIPA further illustrate that while the past two administrations have completely screwed up this country... yet, but were that their job, they are performing admirably. At least I know who to thank in 20 years time, when we are no longer the preeminent country in the world. I will thank them for their political global warming. Well done guys. Well done.
The government’s love of publishing and acronyms and publishing acronyms has a somnorific effect on the nation’s populace, ensuring that we ignore much of what is put out. Nor do we understand what the wordy mix of legalese and erudite phraseology is about, often because of the self-pleasing name it was given. Such is the case with SOPA and PIPA.
More cynically, and perhaps more accurately, these two bills represent specific big businesses, aka old Hollywood, who got clobbered by innovation, trying yet again to compete. Yet again, they are doing so through the continued corruption of our political system. It’s ironic that the framework that has allowed for the country’s success is being attacked when it doesn’t work in the favor of certain businesses. For me, this battle is not just about the internet. It’s a new battle of church and state, not religion and politics but money and politics and the American dream turning into a nightmare.