SOPA’s Expensive Fall

by Robert D
The linked article explains that SOPA, the recent anti-piracy bill that got shut down before it could make any change, was driven by “old media” companies who opposed pirating. They used lobbying and similar tactics, to the tune of millions of dollars. In contrast, very little was spent from the anti-SOPA side. So what caused the bill to fail?

The article suggests this is because anti-SOPA companies, like Wikipedia and Twitter, didn’t need to spend any money. The internet is already an effective means of communication; they just used the existing infrastructure (or in some cases, a lack thereof) to push anti-SOPA messages to a concerned audience. Some sites would give information on SOPA and why citizens should disagree with it; others shut down entirely in protest.

I can’t say I know if SOPA is good for us as a whole. As an avid fan of everything the internet has to bring, however, I was largely against the bill. I remember up to a month before the bill failed, my favorite sites would encourage users to write and call congressmen. There was a clip on the Daily Show where senators were first debating the bill, claiming they didn’t know what the bill entailed, and that they needed “nerds” to interpret it for them; they were largely in favor of it, but couldn’t say why. What happens on the internet is important though; I could list everyday examples, but I think the failure of SOPA is a good enough example on its own.






Goldman, D. “Millions of SOPA Lobbying Bucks Gone to Waste” CNN Money. 27 Jan 2012.

4 thoughts on “SOPA’s Expensive Fall”

  1. Having been one of those people calling for action against this bill, I couldn’t be in more agreement. This bill had the potential to change the way the internet, even society as a whole, functioned for years to come. Looking over the details of the bill you come to find ridiculous statutes that would go into affect allowing the government enormous flexibility when it came to what was considered ‘online piracy’ and what ‘should’ be on the internet. Great article.

  2. I agree with you in that I think SOPA went way too far, but I also agree that companies should have the ability to protect their copyrighted data. I think I would be more inclined to feel more compassion for those companies if they didn’t charge too much for their products. The whole thing reminds me of the fight against online music stores such as Itunes that the music industry championed. In the end, they realized that they could still make a good profit, but these things seem to take time.

  3. Against piracy is good but what SOPA suggests is way too far. It sounds just like they want to force internet users back to the beginning days of internet, when everything is a black box. Only the difference now is internet users have to pay to open those black boxes. It is just against the basic meaning of the Internet, connect people together. SOPA is trying to close everything and push people away.

  4. The idea of SOPA is not a bad one, however, the issue needs to be addressed with tech innovators, not politicians. I think a new bill will soon be submitted that does address the issue, but in the right manner and that one will gain even more attention and have a better chance of reducing piracy on the web.

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