Letters from the Lunar Outpost

The world goes up and the world goes down, And the sunshine follows the rain; And yesterday's sneer and yesterday's frown Can never come over again.
- Charles Kingsley, English Author and Clergyman (1819-1875)

SOPA Resistance Day

The double-barrel decisions to punt on the bill capped an extraordinary week of public pressure — and an extraordinary reversal of fortunes for Hollywood, whose lobbyists seemed to think they were on cruise control to passage of bills aimed at protecting their content from online thieves.

Source: Politico

Don’t you just love happy endings? Actually, in my case, I’m more of the Leaving Las Vegas ending type of guy, but still, to imagine the big money Hollywood lobbyists smug with the certainty that they had bought and paid for the votes of enough senators and congresspeople to ensure the passage of Chinese government censorship for America, only to see the tech heavyweights use their platforms on the Internet to rally public opinion to the tune of millions and millions of Americans signing petitions and calling their representatives . . . it’s a beautiful thing.

Power to the people – when organized and sufficiently motivated, even the biggest money of the big lobbiests can be defeated. Now if we could only get the same kind of public outcry to let the Obama administration know that “we can’t wait” on jobs and Keystone XL . . .

 

* technically, these bills have not been killed but punted, most likely until after the election. SOPA and PIPA are both heavily damaged in public perception though, so most likely it’s back to the drawing board instead of Congress trying to rework them. Let’s just hope they can find a way to address the concerns of the intellectual property rights holders without trampling the freedom of the Internet.

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