Clay Shirky’s eloquence

If you are going to read or watch JUST ONE summary of sopa/pipa stuff, Clay Shirky’s TED talk is my current candidate. It’s 14 minutes, but (or, better, AND) you get the Backstory of the continuing machinations of the “content industries” … the point that WE SHARE STUFF is at the heart of his presentation. And The Mouse doesn’t like that.

Another good presentation: Khan Academy on YouTube

…and here’s another essential piece: Dan Gillmor’s commentary in The Guardian, which says that the proponents aren’t proceeding from ignorance, and in fact they understand the Internet quite well:

…the Protect IP Act (Pipa) – and a host of activities around the world – share a common goal. These “fixes” are designed to wrest control of these tools from the masses and recentralize what has promised to be the most open means of communication and collaboration ever invented… it’s fair to say that some individual members of Congress have demonstrated, via their public statements, a lack of attention to the technical details of how the net works. I assure you, however, that the staff members who have taken dictation from Hollywood and its allies know precisely what their measures would achieve, if enacted. And I assure you that Rupert Murdoch and his top staff are fully cognizant of the realities they fear and loathe.

This is developing into a much more interesting and important dispute than first met the eye and ear, and a number of commenters have pointed out that sopa/pipa is just another skirmish in the wars of “the copyright cartel and its allies” (in Gillmor’s words) against, well, us. Do I see 99% here? Gillmor again:

The people who want to protect “intellectual property” from all infringement have set up a binary choice. They tell us that if we do not agree to their absolute control, we are endorsing stealing. This is another lie, though it’s been an effective one until recently – when people began to realize what was at stake.

And there’s more, in fact so much more that I’m not sure what to leave out, but meanwhile take a look at NewLeftMedia’s 12-minute YouTube analysis, which provides some more valuable context.

These presentations will turn out to be really interesting examples of explanations, once we can see and analyse a broad range of them.

And while we’re exploring motivations and reactions, add this bit from John Battelle’s SearchBlog:

…Major Obama donors in Hollywood assumed they were buying their way into legislative protection of their threatened business models, and when the President didn’t do their bidding, they “leaked” their displeasure…

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