SOPA/PIPA Backers Still Don’t Get It

Dodd Calls for Hollywood and Silicon Valley to Meet

I really hope Chris Dodd does what he says and sits down with the tech industry. And I really hope that this statement does not indicate that Chris Dodd and the rest of those backing PIPA and SOPA think that they would have been more successful if they just would have moved quicker.

But the startlingly speedy collapse of the antipiracy campaign by some of Washington’s savviest players — not just the motion picture association, but also the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Recording Industry Association of America — signaled deep changes in antipiracy lobbying in the future. By Mr. Dodd’s account, no Washington player can safely assume that a well-wired, heavily financed legislative program is safe from a sudden burst of Web-driven populism.

What Dodd, the MPAA, RIAA and everyone else backing these bills needs to understand is that this isn’t about money, it isn’t even about piracy. This is about government being able to run rough-shod over what services people use. If SOPA/PIPA backers brought a reasonable bill to the tech industry that was actually aimed at cutting down on piracy and not shutting down web sites without a judges review (you know, innocent before proven guilty), my guess is we’d back it.

The biggest problem, though, that those backers don’t understand (and don’t seem to want to) is that the power to slow piracy is already in their hands. I’m going to say this in capital letters so hopefully someone over there hears it:


This isn’t rocket science.