SOPA: A Bitter-Sweet Victory And A Great Opportunity

Yay! We won! The goog good guys convinced the highly political Congress to change course. Facebook. Google, Firefox and even porn sites all came together to twist Congress and Hollywood arms and won. Sweet… So why the bitterness and where is the opportunity?

It’s not a bitter victory but it is disappointing that the only thing that got the collective web to react was a direct attempt on its revenue and profits. We all know that the subtext to all the freedom speak was money. Great deal of money.  In a coordinated campaign that lasted only few short weeks and peaked today, the entire country got convinced that SOPA was evil, only to serve the interest of the internet companies. (Disclaimer, FWIW, I agree with the position of the silicon valley here, but this is beside the point).

So where is the opportunity? we just discovered that the valley can take a stand, and mobilize the public opinion. For one day, Washington was not only influenced by the car/drug/weapon industry lobbyist: it was influenced by us. It’s a great power we can use to influence our policy makers to do other things that the vast majority of the tech minds here believe in like a universal healthcare for example.

If this is too controversial, how about taking a stand on something every educated American can agree on? We need to fix our education system. While not impacting today’s revenue, great education system is the only thing that will ensure that 20 years from now, the Silicon Valley is still the center of global innovation and not a follower of countries with much better education like Finland or South Korea.

High tech is an industry with long term interests like any other industry. Today it discovered that it can influence the congress without lobbyists and dirty politics- it can do it out in the open. It is too much to expect that this power will be used again for better causes?

SOPA: A Bitter-Sweet Victory And A Great Opportunity

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