Internet Shoots Down Censorship

John Seiler:

Sometimes you win one. This week, the Good Guys won a Big One.

Hollywood’s attempt to censor the Internet went down in flames like a Luftwaffe jet fighter shot down by the American “Red Tails” in the new movie of that name.

Hollywood lobbyists pushed cash and legislation on Congress. The bills were the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect Intellectual Property Act in the Senate. They should have been called the “Censor Everybody to Help Hollywood Acts.”

On Wednesday, Wikipedia went “black.” You couldn’t use it. There only was a screen showing you how to contact your representative or senator. Tens of thousands of people did so. Google, Facebook and other sites also protested.

Now, the bills have been “put on hold.”

To quote Hollywood icon Jackie Gleason, “How sweet it is!”

The New York Times ran a decent article explaining why Silicon Valley shot down Hollywood. Basically, Hollywood is a static industry. It makes movies, TV shows and recordings. It sends its “product” out to movie theaters, record stores and TV stations. It doesn’t get much feedback.

The main feedback Hollywood gets is people not going to see its crummy movies so much.

By contrast, the New Media get copious instant feedback. You can respond, right now, to my article below. After I post it to Facebook, you can respond there.

So when the New Media sent out pleas to demand that Congress drop the censorship bills, Congress actually responded. Amazing! Democracy in Action!


The Times: “And for all the campaign contributions, Washington parties and high-priced lobbyists the old economy could muster, nothing could compare to the tentacles the new economy can reach into Americans’ everyday lives through sites like Wikipedia. Aides to Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, say he will press forward with a vote Tuesday to open debate on the Protect I.P. bill. Negotiators from both parties are scrambling for new language that could assuage the concerns of the Internet community, but expectations are that the bill will now fail to get the 60 votes to move forward — a significant setback.”

Note the “both parties.” This was a bipartisan censorship scam. Didn’t Republicans win the control of the House, and make major gains in the Senate, in November 2010 by promising us more freedom? Just more campaign lies, obviously. Like most Democrats in Congress, they were bought off by Hollywood.

But they ignored the power of the people, using the New Media, to fight for freedom.

This also shows how Congress remains out of touch with the people it claims to represent.

And it shows that the only way we’re going to regain our freedom is to take it back ourselves.

Jan. 20, 2012




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  1. Rob McMillin
    Rob McMillin 20 January, 2012, 14:33

    Still not convinced this monster doesn’t come back in some must-pass legislation — say, an appropriations bill for the military, or the inevitable “doc fix” for Medicare.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rob McMillin
    Rob McMillin 20 January, 2012, 14:35

    Also, it’s worth noting that Republican defectors in the Senate outnumbered Democrats about 2:1. Yes, Democrats are corrupt, but the GOP was, by virtue of not being on the receiving end of the Hollywood ATM, on the right side of this one, if only by accident (largely). Yes, Orrin Hatch is nominally aligned with the **AA interests, as was sponsor Lamar Smith, but at present, it appears they’ve been fought to at least a temporary draw.

    Reply this comment
  3. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 20 January, 2012, 16:21

    This is so stupid. The marketing of counterfeited or stolen intellectual property has always been illegal in America. How do you remedy it? Shut down the company engaged in it. But we have no legal jurisdiction outside our international borders. But we have a remedy that our cowardly politicians are skeerd to use. Punitive tariffs and trade sanctions. China and the rest of these rouge nations allow their companies to steal American intellectual property. SOPA does nothing to punish them for it. Same goes for the offshoring of American jobs or refusal on part of these rouge nations to enact responsible environmental laws allowing them to produce cheap goods. Hit them with tariffs to level the playing field. The only reason the pols rolled over is because mega-wealthy corps like Apple bitched about it. These companies either directly or indirectly employ hundreds of thousands of employees in China who work in sweat shops at sub-minimum wage. The pols don’t give a crap what the little people want. TARP and Obamacare proved that.

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  4. Keep da Peace
    Keep da Peace 20 January, 2012, 17:33

    Unfortunately, you are both right. You can bet this is going to return in way, shape or form. Ried is determined to help his movie buddies. And, until we set our import tariffs at a level that other countries do, we will have a heavy trade imbalance and jobs qill continue to leave the country.

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  5. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 20 January, 2012, 19:35

    Harry Reid might bring it back to appease his sugar daddies but it will never pass in it’s present form. As Seiler pointed out in his previous blog on this topic – the Apple related corporations that oppose it are worth much more than the Hollywood pigs. They can buy 2-3 pols for every pol Hollywood can buy. But don’t think the pols are protecting your speech rights by rejecting it. They are protecting their own pocketbooks.

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