SOPA Went Down

Jack Valenti, former President, Motion Picture...Image via WikipediaWhat just happened? SOPA went down.

The enormous passion some of the early opponents of SOPA exhibited told me right there and then that SOPA was so going down. And now it is official. SOPA will not make it to the floor of the House. This is victory.

Copyright asks for a new definition. Intellectual property has to be redefined. The nation state itself has to be redefined. There is a guttural feeling among tech innovators that that is the case. And the jinn is out of the bottle. There is no going back.

SOPA Has Egg In The Face
SOPA Is So Going Down

More people consume more news than ever before. But many newspapers have crashed and burned. What is going on? Enormous amounts of music is being created, more than ever before. More books are being written than ever before. If piracy is devaluing intellectual property then there should be this strong signal to authors and music people and creative people in general that they should cease work. But the signal is the exact opposite. What's going on?

Artificial scarcity is being made fun of. Access is being democratized globally. If you have internet access, you are in. Compare that to the pains of getting a visa to the US.

There is so much good news going on. How could such enormous good news be bad news to some people? One person's freedom fighter is another person's terrorist.

As far as I was concerned this was a fight between good and evil. Good won.

The people who won with the defeat of SOPA are the most pro intellectual property people you will ever meet. These are people who want to see the creation of new intellectual property. All day, every day.

Harvard Business Review: The Real SOPA Battle: Innovators vs. Goliath
SOPA and PIPA are prime examples of big companies trying to do everything they can to stop new competitors from innovating. ..... Jack Valenti, head of the MPAA, when he testified in front of congress that the VCR was to the movie industry what the Boston Strangler was to women. ....... SOPA and PIPA will chill innovation and threaten free speech. ..... SOPA makes much more sense if you look at the debate as big companies unwilling to accept change versus the innovative companies and startups that embrace change. And if we accept that startups are created to find new ways to create value for consumers, the debate is actually between the financial interests of "big content" shareholders versus consumer interests at large. ....... the largest backers of SOPA or PIPA — the Business of Software Alliance, Comcast, Electronic Arts, Ford, L'Oreal, Scholastic, Sony, Disney ....... one characteristic is the same across all of SOPA's supporters — they all have an interest in preserving the status quo. If there is meaningful innovation by startups in content creation and delivery, the supporters of SOPA and PIPA are poised to lose. ....... Even for those SOPA supporters that are historic innovators, their organizations focus on improving products in the pursuit of profit. They innovate to increase prices and limit production cost. Even when new models and technologies give rise to huge businesses, these incumbent firms reject meaningful innovation. ........ On the other side of the debate, you'll see a few the most successful companies in recent history. Wikipedia. Google. Twitter. Zynga. What these firms have in common is they have upended entire industries — and many are still in the process of doing so. ....... If SOPA were to become law, however, Viacom would be able to entirely shut down YouTube's revenue stream while the case was in court. Balance tipped. ...... To be fair to the big companies supporting SOPA and PIPA, they're acting rationally. From their perspective, investing in lobbying instead of business model innovation is a sensible investment. Jack Abramoff has recently detailed how a 22,000% ROI isn't unusual for firms hiring lobbyists
Another story to come out of this is that democracy in America is a little twisted. Lobbyists matter more than citizens. That is not how it is supposed to be. If lobbyists can temporarily scare billion dollar companies like Google and Twitter, imagine where the lower middle class stands.

The winners of this battle although do need to realize that the tech industry is nowhere close to helping come up with the new business models to go with the new distribution models. You don't want your artists to starve.
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