January 18: When The Blackout Arrives

We’re on the cusp of something big here, folks. All across the web, servers are closing their doors. Wikipedia has blocked access to its users for the first time since its launch. Reddit’s shutting down. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are standing up and speaking out. Tomorrow’s gonna be a big day.

Wait, what? Why are they still protesting? The White House condemned the bill, didn’t it? That means it’s over, right? SOPA and PIPA are dead in the water, aren’t they?

Apparently not.

What I’m about to tell you next borders on the downright comedic.

Instead of just taking the defeat at face value and admitting they understand the Internet about as well as chipmunks understand Particle Physics, those few who still support SOPA are saying…saying it’s a good thing? Really? How…exactly…are they spinning it?

That’s right, they’re taking the White House’s kick in the teeth with a wide grin, and then saying “thank you sir, may I have another?” Don’t believe me? Take a look at this excerpt from the completely delusional statement put out by the MPAA:

…So now it is time to stop the obstruction and move forward on legislation.

Our industry not only fully supports free expression, our livelihood is built upon a vibrant First Amendment – it is the foundation of our industry and we would never support any legislation that would limit this fundamental American right. As had been made clear throughout the legislative consideration of SOPA and the PROTECT-IP Act, neither of these bills implicate free expression but focus solely on illegal conduct, which is not free speech. We agree with Secretary Clinton’s recent statement that “There is no contradiction between intellectual property rights protection and enforcement and ensuring freedom of expression on the Internet.”

So, MPAA, let me get this straight…the President of the United States- the most powerful man in the god damned free world…scratch that, the entire white house- is just another obstruction? Nice name drop, by the way. I wonder if she actually supports SOPA? (She doesn’t)

SOPA/PIPA supporters in a nut-shell.

I guess it shouldn’t come as any surprise, from a collective whose figurehead believes that Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon aren’t legitimate opposition. Oh, did I mention Mr. Smith chimed in on this development, as well? His response is about as out-of-touch-with-reality as you’d expect.

“I welcome today’s announcement that the White House will support legislation to combat online piracy that protects free speech, the Internet and America’s intellectual property. That’s precisely what the Stop Online Piracy Act does.”

No…it really isn’t.

Further, the MPAA partnered up with their Cronies the RIAA and the US Chamber of Commerce, claimed that the complete stop that’s been put on their bills actually “clears the way for action” on them.  I…they….okay. I’m not even going to try to come up with a metaphor for this one. I’m still trying to process their logic, and my brain, it just…

My head hurts.

Pretty much this.

It’s like a child responding to his Mother’s edict to stop eating cookies by dumping the whole jar into his mouth, then flinging it out the window. Then laughing and thanking her for all the cookies. Then throwing his dinner out the window too, for good measure.

Before, I questioned whether or not Lamar Smith and his camp understood the Internet. Now, I’m starting to wonder if they even understand government. When the leader of your country tells you that you need to stop doing something…isn’t it generally a good idea to listen to him?

Am I just living in the past?

The most ironic thing about all this is that, under SOPA, Lamar Smith’s own bloody website will be guilty of copyright infringement.

Anyway, don’t be surprised if a lot of your favorite websites are inaccessible over the course of the day. The goal of this protest isn’t to demonstrate to the blockheads who support the bill the SOPA is bad. Quite the contrary- it’s meant to get the attention of everybody else- since it’s abundantly clear that Congress simply isn’t listening. Even if they have shelved the bill for now,

Maybe they’ll listen if the whole country goes against them. If they don’t, I’m pretty sure I’ve an idea of what the next step’s going to be.

At least we know what to expect.

Of course, maybe they’re just blowing smoke. Perhaps I’m being overdramatic- I do have a tendency to do that, sometimes. Maybe SOPA and PIPA well end up dead on the drawing room floor.

We can only hope it does.

Image Credits: The Founding FieldsThe Free Man,Ars Technica,


One response to “January 18: When The Blackout Arrives

  1. This is madness. For them to even have the rite to condemn the internet is an outrage. It’s a freedom if speech. I’m not to involved w/all this as it stands but I’d love to know more. Thank you for this brilliant article!

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