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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