Yay. We did it, or nearly have.
But Hollywood still has dozens of laws on the books criminalizing file sharing (read this post by attorney Andrew Bridges pointing out how ridiculous the laws are compared to things like jumping the turnstile on the subway.
Congress is the real winner here. They showed that they can and will pass bills that will cause irreparable harm to the tech industry just because Hollywood is willing to pay them off with huge lobbying dollars. And while SOPA/PIPA may be stalled for now, a big part of the reason is that tech companies got into the lobbying game, too.
From that NY Times article:
Data shows that copyright holders and supporters of the bills outspent opponents substantially in the early stages of the debate. But by many accounts the tech industry has stepped up its lobbying efforts in recent weeks. New spending reports expected shortly indicate whether the balance has shifted.
That’s right, slowly but surely, Congress is sucking the tech industry into their world, making us play by their rules. We have to pay them off, literally with cash, or we get slaughtered.
I wrote about how slippery a slope this is, and hoped that we could put it off for as long as possible – see If We Play By Big Government Rules, We’ve Lost.
Well, we’re now playing by big government rules. Congress can set up a fight pit with Hollywood in one corner and Silicon Valley in the other. Who cares what happens. The money will just roll right in.
This is how criminal organizations run protection rackets. Congress is doing just that, only it’s completely legal.