Thursday, 19 January 2012

On the SOPA protests

There was something heartening and encouraging about the SOPA/PIPA protests yesterday. It's good to see that grass roots political action is possible, the extent to which the internet facilitates it and the fact that it might actually even have an effect. And I agree that both bills are troubling, an attempt to kill a gnat w/ a hammer and possibly missing the gnat. That said, it's also a bit troubling to compare the outpouring of response when people are threatened with the possibility of harsh action on copyright infringement to people reactions idly to the desecration or dismissal of so many other civil liberties. Illegal wiretapping? shrug.  Wars? yawn Give companies ability to sue to shut down websites that infringe on copyright?  HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, MISTER!!! Frustratingly, this action may say less about our eagerness to participate in democracy and a lot more about our desire for short term gratification.

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