SOPA is dead! But don’t get too excited. It won’t stay dead. It’s going to come back to life over and over again for at least the next few decades. It will keep coming back mostly because of what tech companies did, not because of what Hollywood interests have done (or will do).
What did they do that was so horrible? I have to give you a little bit of background info before I can explain where the monumental fuck up by Google (I’m using Google to refer to most of the tech industry here, since listing them would take too long) happened. The tech sector in general, is not a big contributor to political causes. I’m not saying they don’t make donations, but they make fairly insignificant donations in the grand scheme of corporate “giving”. Here’s where the tech companies fucked up; when SOPA and PIPA first reared their ugly heads, the tech industry responded by hiring lobbyists and throwing money at politicians. On its face, that seems like a reasonable course of action.
But in reality, throwing money at the issue is going to prove to be disastrous. Google basically told congress that they’re willing to cave in to extortion. And we all know that when you pay a blackmailer once, you invite other blackmailers to fuck you.
No, they made a bad opening gambit. They basically insured that some version of this bill will come back again and again, since it proved to be such a great fundraiser this time around.
We have a system of governance with seriously fucked up incentive structures built into it, which is why is will never serve the people. There’s no reason why our representatives should give a shit about “the general welfare” of the people. They answer to their corporate masters, because that’s who pays them.
Paying politicians not to fuck you just perpetuates the problem. No, the opening gambit should have been to shut down the internet. Doing that would have put this SOPA bullshit to bed once and for all. Reddit, WiKiPedia, Boing Boing, and everyone else that went dark on Wednesday did a great thing. They should have opened with that move.
While I appreciate Google’s part in the protest, I’m a little pissed at them for not going all in. It was a stupid move on their part. If Google had shut down all of it’s offerings, they would have literally brought the world to its knees. A day without Google, Gmail, G+, or G anything, would be a day that goes down in history. Can you imagine the horror of having to use Bing for a day? Oh, the humanity! They cost themselves a shitload of money by not going dark yesterday. The extortion money that they’re going to have to pay to our politicians over the next couple of decades will far eclipse the loss of revenue from going dark for twenty-four hours.
Are you listening, Eric Schmidt (I’m actually speaking to every CEO that does business on the internet)? I know that you’re new to this whole, our-politicians-are-feckless-thugs thing, but you’re going to have to figure it out fast.
I almost forgot – before I sign off, I would like to say something to Twitter. You guys are a bunch of ASSHATS and simpletons for not being able to recognize a threat to your livelihood when you see it. Fucking morons!