Internet

SOPA is a useful reminder that the internet is basically American [OPINION]

There are really only two groups of people who support SOPA: the American entertainment industry, and politicians in Washington. Pretty much everybody else – people who use the internet, people who run websites, people who understand the internet – are vehemently and vocally opposed to it.

Guess who’s winning the battle?

SOPA is a useful reminder that the internet is basically an American tool. American laws passed in America have the power to change how the internet functions all around the world. This is the system that everyone has bought into, and these are the results of having a global system that is actually heavily dependant upon the laws of one particular nation.

Basically, SOPA aims to kill free speech in order to protect a 20th century business model that made a lot of money for the entertainment industry back then but which doesn’t really work today. Even the EU has confirmed that it has deep concerns about SOPA, and recent events such as the Megaupload controversy show the dangers of granting this level of power to the entertainment industry.

There are lots of reasons to be angry about SOPA. There’s the fact that it is likely to pass despite massive, organised opposition. There’s the fact that US politicians are making decisions that affect how the whole world will be able to go online. And there’s the fact that there is nothing you or I can do to change what happens. Money always gets its way.

About Michael R. Gideon

Writer, teacher, dog walker, guitarist, husband, father, reader, journalist etc. I mainly write at 100gf | Politics and Computers, but occasionally at other sites such as TV Vomit and Indie Bookspot. My Google Plus profile.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “SOPA is a useful reminder that the internet is basically American [OPINION]

  1. Fuck you for saying “And there’s the fact that there is nothing you or I can do to change what happens. Money always gets its way.”

    That is only true when people sit by and do nothing. Yes, it is the case at the moment. No, it is not always the case. Fact is that money doesn’t get it’s way when people are willing to die for something.

    Posted by Nope. | December 15, 2011, 10:11 pm
  2. I agree it looks bad. I watched the Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday and it was so frustrating to see how they dismissed every argument and shot down every attempt to amend the bill into something less horrible. It kind of looks like the fix is in doesn’t it?

    However, I do not agree there is nothing we can do. We’re getting close to 2012, the year that a bunch of politicians will have to run for re-election. If enough people call, e-mail and send letters, it might make them nervous enough to stop or at least slow down and add some friendly amendments.

    Americans who have never written or called their representatives, I would advise to do so. Non-Americans, make noise in the media and contact your politicians and see what pressure you can bring to bear on our politicians. Cynicism will get you nowhere.

    Posted by musicmissionary | December 18, 2011, 11:44 pm

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