Earlier this year, the internet (including this site) responded aggressively to the Stop Online Piracy Act pushed into Congress by Representative Lamar S. Smith. In response, SOPA died. It was important to reject it, and it will be even more important to reject it when it comes up again.
Because it will, Romero-like, inevitably rise again.
In fact, MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd publicly told The Hollywood Reporter that negotiations were taking place currently behind closed doors. Of all the smug comments Dodd makes, the boldest seems the most banal: “Between now and sometime next year [after the presidential election], the two industries need to come to an understanding.” By that, he means Entertainment and Technology.
Obvious? Sure. But “the two industries”? This is the kind of obtuse, hidden control that SOPA needs because it doesn’t have any real public support. Less than that, it’s actively hated. It’s not the two industries that need to come to an understanding. It’s these two industries that need to work with the people to come to a reasonable solution that doesn’t trash privacy and personal freedom.
We don’t have a lot of options as fans. Andrew Couts at Yahoo’s Digital Trends has some strong words, but the only thing to be added isn’t a word at all. It’s a number: 202.293.1966. It’s the DC office contact for the MPAA. Not to pretend that calling it will do any good, but at least we could annoy the receptionist until he or she complains enough in the lunch room for it to matter.