Reddit makes gross mistakes trying to write bill to replace abusive SOPA, PIPA

Input from everyone? Mob rule! Grass-roots activism? No one's getting paid!


Congress doesn't listen to amateur legislatures except in specifically non-threatening circumstances. In Congress, Reddit, Google, Wikipedia, the millions who use them and millions more influenced by them are all just numbers in an opinion survey – not one of the polls campaigners use like compasses to steer their ships by, either.

To Congress and other SOPA supporters – such as Philippe Dauman, CEO of Viacom – Redditors, EFFers and others opposing SOPA are "a mob" that killed the bill with outrage and a sense of violation, not whatever Dauman uses in place of real emotion.

“It was almost religious dogma. People were saying [the bills] would have broken the Internet, that it would have created censorship around the world,” Dauman said.

Clearly the opposition was wrong; SOPA wouldn’t have created censorship all over the world; it would have allowed Viacom to censor things all over the world. Much different (in that the guy criticizing the "mob" would have been one of those making censoring decisions; censors never think they're the ones doing the censoring.)

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To RIAA and MPAA, opponents to SOPA are content thieves with no right to expect any quarter from copyright holders.

To the rest of the world, Reddit and all the rest of them are…us. They are the citizens of the world on whom the consequences of bad laws and bad leaders fall. They are the victims of unintended circumstance, fodder for cannons, marchers pointed where they are told to go.

But they're not going.

Obviously, in the view of those making the decisions, the direction we're headed remains the right one and the obstacles in the way are those complaining that we'll be trampling fields of beautiful flowers on the way to the world of perfect copyright-enforcement.

Quixotic as it seems to be hammering together legislation that does what it has to without hurting people it doesn't have to hurt, Redditors are doing the right thing.

They complained about the impending finalization of a bad law. Now they're working on a way to solve the problem without all the fatal side effects.

When you hear abuse coming from the other side, ridiculing Redditors for their presumption, naiveté and obvious criminal intent, keep that in mind.

It's not Reddit or Wikipedia or the EFF or any of the other opponents who are working so hard to do the wrong thing.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters/Tony Gentile

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