SOPA & PIPA: A Historical Perspective (NSFW)

January 21st, 2012 at 2:31 am by Mark
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Everyone’s apparently forgotten about Clinton’s 1995 Communications Decency Act, which was an unconstitutionally vague few paragraphs of the larger Clinton Communication Act which left most anything on the Internet open to being listed as “indecent” and requiring an immediate takedown.

Everyone’s also forgotten about Clinton’s attempted 1997 and 1998 Intellectual Property & Copyright Acts, which ended up coming down so hard on online music sharing community, Napster. Further, people forgot the fight against Clinton’s 2000 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the fisticuffs in Congress that made our politicians look as bad as a meeting at Japanese Parliament.

In the end for SOPA & PIPA, logic prevailed. The bills weren’t shelved due to someone in Congress not being able to get their dose of LOLcats for a day, but rather because it’s all happened before, and they knew this would play out about as well as a re-run of a bad 90’s soap opera.

Still, it made me a bit nostalgic for the Internet culture of the 90’s where, rather than utilizing heavy-handed activism, the Internet lashed out in more creative ways:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfAVT4eSRVQ

Taking sites offline against to rage against the mere possiblity that SOPA & PIPA might pass made about as much sense as the age-old quote, “Fighting for Peace is like F#$*ing for Chastity.”

To some degree, this sort of belligerent activism reminded me of last years Facebook meme, “Change your online avatar to a cartoon character to end child abuse!” It was a completely empty gesture, and besides, given my penchant for Bloom County, Calvin & Hobbes and my own silly comic strip from the early 90’s, it’s completely apparent that I was solely responsible for eradicating child abuse in 1994…


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