SOPA Prediction

Glen Reynolds reports that opposition to SOPA has caused Congress to pull back a bit.  My prediction:  They will kill this particular bill, and we will all pat ourselves on the back for it going away, but they it will get slipped into the back of some defense authorization bill while no one is looking and become law anyway.  This kind of pandering to Hollywood and increased government control over speech and the Internet is just too appealing for Congress to pass up forever.


  1. Rob:

    Of course, that is sort of like predicting that the Sun will rise tomorrow, isn't it? ;-D

  2. Rick Caird:

    SOPA is about control of the internet and, of course, as always campaign donations.

  3. I Got Bupkis, Fomenter of "small-l" libertarianism:

    I concur completely -- Bills are like zombies, the vested interests pushing them generally won't allow them to be killed.

    It's one of the chief problems with allowing the government be there to "fix" problems. The ones with the loudest voices and the most money are the ones who get you and I to foot the bill to fix their "problems". Come the revolution, remember this -- don't leave open ended the powers granted to governments. They need to be much more strictly delineated.

    It's even worse when the vested interests include governmental entities!

    There was an area of my town that resisted incorporation. The area, which had a large student population (but they don't really vote much, of course) had built up a lot in the last 30 years and the areas to either side of it had accepted incorporation, so it was a kind of a largish island of "countyness" at the edge of the city. The residents, for the most part, were smart enough to figure out that adding another layer of government does not generally lower taxes or provide more services (this despite claims from the city that people's taxes -- in certain arenas of taxation -- would be lower... carefully not mentioning the arenas where taxes would be raised a hell of a lot more -- like property taxes. Every 2-3 years, they would push a new incorporation "agreement" onto the ballot, and, for about 15-20 years it got summarily rejected. But finally, they managed to get it passed in a year with a high student turnout (students don't tend to think long term, and they certainly don't realize that they pay property taxes via rental properties). And now everyone in that area pays higher total taxes and doesn't have any idea why or even that there was ever any alternative.

  4. I Got Bupkis, Fomenter of "small-l" libertarianism:

    As John Perry Barlow put it years ago in "The Economy of Ideas", the government solutions offered to the Titanic of Copyright Law are essentially propositions to rearrange the deck chairs in a different configuration. There is nothing in his treatise that is any less applicable today, 17 years later.

    That the IP system as-is -- Copyright-as-control -- CANNOT be made to work without utterly destroying the internet -- is lost on these morons.

    Copyright-as-control is either dead -- D-E-A-D -- or the internet is.

    Copyright needs to be rewritten from scratch, to become copyright-as-reward.

    Wealth is created in an IP-driven economy by the flow of information. The surest way to destroy the wealth creation engine is to enact laws which interfere with the free and easy flow of information to places where it can best be used. Copyright-as-control is a clear and constant brake on the economy even as poorly enforced as it is. The only way to screw things up worse is to try and add to the power of enforcement which will only hinder that flow even more.

  5. Daublin:

    I have to admit, I don't see a good outcome from hoping D.C. will voluntarily decide it is not in charge of the Internet.

    If there's ever a place for technical solutions, it is this one. Mix tapes are de facto legal because the technology makes them so darned easy to make. If there were a kind of URL that did not have the vulnerability of a central naming service (DNS) ....

  6. Slocum:

    Either than or the FCC will decide a 'bill' wasn't needed after all -- and it will just impose the equivalent rules by regulatory fiat (justified, naturally, as a necessary tool to fight terrorism and/or child pornography).

  7. Michael Stack:

    I agree 100% - unfortunate but true.