SOPA On The Shelf?

It appears that, more or less, SOPA is shelved.  Now we know these things can change, but still this is promising.  Between the petitions, anger, a potential January 18th internet protest, the White house statements . . . yeah, it's not looking good for SOPA and it's Tweedle-dumb PIPA.

This is a serious loss for the bill(s), and does fit some of the recent political happenings:

  • Congress is rampantly upopular
  • The awareness of the bill was broad, and the protests effective – and the "nuclear option" could have been devastating.
  • There is not consensus on this issue.
  • If you notice, the question of interests breaking the internet for their own gain dovetails well with the increased questions of wealth inequality in America.

Will it come back?  My guess is yes, somewhat.  There's probably a series of bad bills that will come out of this, or one glorious last stand of dumb to be made.  So as always, vigilance.

One important thing to come out of this though is that there's a "storyline."  A narrative – interests are trying to break the internet and people have to stand up to them.  It's a lot more believable than "piracy is destroying us," a lot more sympathetic to people, and frankly more true.  People got involved who would not have gotten involved and have adsorbed and internalized this storyline.

It's part of a much larger culture now, and it won't be going away or fading easily.

Steven Savage