I don’t know by now if SOPA has already become a household word yet or not, but I think it should have been so. Nonetheless, not everyone cares what is SOPA since the Internet has always been huge and the word SOPA has yet to deal real damages against their frequent Internet activities. Of course, SOPA is subtle and so it’s obvious that not everyone would make a big deal out of stomping SOPA at its inception. Nonetheless, SOPA is a word which ties to a bill which might be passed and affected the Internet as a whole on many levels when not enough bodies scrutinize what will go into the bill. So, it’s for certain that SOPA is not a word to be jokingly threw around, but it will be threw around nonetheless for whatever purposes there will be.
With SOPA makes headlines as often as it has been, perhaps enough eyeballs and brains are coming to an understanding that it’s something important enough to be addressed and publicized. Publicizing it enough so even people who have no idea how SOPA would affect them might come to a small degree of understanding that SOPA may create unintentional negative consequences for the general population who regularly visit the Internet for whatever purposes. Furthermore, some people may come to understand once SOPA becomes law, SOPA will have a high potential in encouraging even more new rules and regulations that have nothing to do with common sense, relatively speaking in regarding to the Internet. Instead, such rules and regulations might exist so someone would be able to quickly plug each loophole there is one at a time, in regarding to their specific bottom line.
I have an analogy to why SOPA can create a chain reaction of negative consequences, and eventually the chain reaction gets so bad that it might break the Internet altogether. This analogy would be someone found a leak on a boat made out of wood, and this boat found itself in the middle of the vast ocean. He or she thought it was a good idea just to have someone quickly stomped on the leaky hole for now. Eventually, such a measure would not help and so more able bodies had to scoop the rising water out of the boat. Finally, it was obvious to the captain of the boat that one action which supposed to solve the problem was not really the solution, but it had created a chain reaction of negative consequences which led to an eventual, unsolvable problem at the end. The boat would sink to the bottom of the deep blue ocean. The ocean was nice, but the passengers on a sinking boat had not such a notion since they were on the way down to their deaths.
Without enough voices that would speak out against something as SOPA, I think the Internet might not be able to thrive for the small people. Remember this, the small people are the majority of the Internet users. Understandably, no matter how noble the purposes that justify the naive existence of a thriving Internet, the Internet will always be a commodity. Then again, who to say the Internet should only be a commodity but not some other meaningful means that could be really useful and convenient for the small people (i.e., the majority users of the Internet). After all, without these small people who have been eagerly found themselves to be attracted to the Internet as bees to honey, there won’t be much of the Internet anyway. Without the worker bees, there won’t be much of a beehive anyway, and the queen bee would not be able to matter much since the population of the bees is basically about to be wiped. I think a smaller, less interesting, heavy regulated, and insensitive toward small people Internet might not be a hot commodity in the end.
Some people might argue that it’s fine to go back to the old ways of doing things. Unfortunately, once you let the genie out of the bottle, it would be almost impossible to have the genie back inside the bottle. Majority of people might just go on creating their new little pockets of Internets and circumventing the heavy censored Internet anyway. Little pockets of new Internets would spring into existences, but none would be better than the original Internet. Perhaps, things would move forward, but things pertain to the Internets would go on to be scattered, and nothing good would come about to have many disconnected Internets. Or I could be wrong and good things might come about to have many disconnected Internets for the small people, but the big people might have the worst time in trying to regulate many more disconnected Internets. Things get expensive for the regulators, and nothing would have stopped the small people from enjoying getting together through the means of Internets. I can be very wrong though, because such Internets have yet to exist, and I’m just speculating.
Cory Doctorow is one of those people who think SOPA and other insensitive DRMs might not address the problems but might bring about even bigger problems in the end. It could be that I misunderstood him, but I thought he insinuated the idea of having DRMs for contents would have similar eventual consequence to how the authorities went about the war on drugs, it would go on unending. Nonetheless, he also pointed out the future of general purpose computer and the free as now Internet might not be viewed in the same category as war on drugs, because these things we care about aren’t the fixes for getting the next bigger, better high; instead, these things are excellent at bringing people together for whatever purposes, and nothing which came before now was able to do the same. Therefore, we might not want to view waging wars against insensitive Internet censorships that have had many gripes against small people (i.e., the majority users of the Internet) as to how we have viewed the war on drugs. Check out Cory Doctorow’s speech right after the break.