Call it life imitating art. Call it a cynical election year ploy for campaign cash. Call it a desperate Hollywood remake. But don’t call it over. Sources on Capitol Hill claim that, although last week saw the timely and bloody death of two bills whose interference with individual liberty was unparalleled in the digital age – SOPA and PIPA – the fight may not be over.
Many key journalists in the tech industry have already pointed out that SOPA and PIPA were, until the industry and American consumers got a hold of the bills, a “sure thing” set to pass without much, if any opposition from members of Congress. The indefinite delay, prompted by massive outrage and widespread protests last week, prompted a total reconsideration of the bill, with Marco Rubio and Congressional Republicans leading a firestorm of criticism and a mass exodus from the bill. Its worth noting, however, that one of the bill’s key sponsors, Democratic Senator Harry Reid, was quick to note that we haven’t seen the last of the bills.
“We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio,” he said in a statement posted by Games Industry (requires free account sign up.)
He went on to encourage other key senators to look into the proposed amendments to the bills, rehashing SOPA to make it more likely to pass if pushed through again.
Its worth noting that the bill’s backers – the MPAA, RIAA and a host of union thugs – are known for their persistence, whether its prosecuting unwitting grandmothers for Internet music “theft” or protesting Wisconsin governors who are trying to rescue their state’s financial well-being, and Americans should not expect them to back down any time soon. And with the amount of money and the future of Democratic party rule at stake in this next election, the MPAA’s, RIAA’s and unions’ deep pockets and ability to write huge campaign checks probably won’t be put at risk for something as silly as the rights of the American people.
And, in fact, if rumors are to believed – and in DC they often are – the SOPA and PIPA comeback might come sooner rather than later. Washington whispers say that the bills will likely come up under different names – not surprising – and that the bigwigs behind the SOPA and PIPA efforts have already hired DC communications powerhouse Hillary Rosen to lead the resurrection effort.
So, like a zombie rising up from its grave to wreak havoc over the American heartland in a low-budget Hollywood Halloween money-maker, SOPA and PIPA look to be rising again to attack your freedoms. Be vigilant.