On Wednesday, the Internet won resoundingly against censorship. A grassroots-style online campaign torpedoed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) an intended internet killing law before the US Congress.
And yet, this is not the victory to celebrate.
Websites, big and small, blacked out the Internet to protest #SOPA, in the the House, and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), in the Senate. Together, the two bills seek to censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on its use.
The protest unleashed a Tsunami which scotched the very same US lawmakers who had previously supported the bill. They immediately withdrew their support of the bills. Representative Eric Cantor(R-VA) announced that he will stop all action on SOPA, effectively killing the bill.
Before the protest, 80 members of Congress supported the legislation and 31 opposed it. Now only 63 support it, with a staggering 122 now opposed.
This is what an effective grassroots protest campaign looks like. Maybe there’s a lesson here for the feuding 99%-#Occupy movement and the 1%? The campaign is also a clear sign that major corporations and ordinary citizens of this world can find common ground. They can work together for the common good.
Kudos to Wikipedia, Google, BoingBoing, Reddit and other big Internet players for taking the lead.
But’s its too early to declare complete victory and disband the victorious forces.
The Texas Congressman who proposed #SOPA, said earlier today he is withrawing the “until there is wider agreement on a solution.”
The politicians and their corporate sponsors are simply regrouping.