Seven Lessons from SOPA/PIPA/Megaupload and Four Proposals on Where We Go From Here | TechPresident
Copyright seems to be too balanced for the industry’s taste. Traditional copyright law has too many balances; too many reasons judges might prevent Hollywood from just shutting the whole thing down so people can be made to sit quietly on their couches and pay up. The bills were designed to try to create new pressure points that would allow either copyright owners or their associated functionaries at the Justice Department to kill threatening sites, without having to go to the trouble of identifying specific infringements or proving anything to a court.
As long as the copyright industries insist on trying to reshape the Internet to make it controllable in order to serve their interests, there effort will be fundamentally in conflict with Internet Freedom. To understand this, we need but quote Larry Lessig’s decade-old “code is law,” or Eben Moglen’s memorable “Freedom of the press, freedom of information, freedom of thought itself are now ’implemented’ rather than ’declared’, ’protected’ or ’guaranteed’.”
But coalitions are always a bit messy, and it is often hard to tell whose agenda is really gaining the upper hand. For now, at least, it seems that the interests of the core of the technology industry and the interests of individuals and communities that have come to rely on the Internet as their primary platform for freedom and creativity are sufficiently aligned that the coalition can hold for a while, on a range of issues, including all those I raise as targets for common action. But networked citizens cannot and should not be sanguine that the alliance will always be so smooth. Nor should the industry take support for granted, or assume that it can rely on its own power and lobbying.