I have yet to post about my happiness that SOPA/PIPA were (at least for the time being) defeated, but more important than my own feelings about the bills and their demise is how they were killed. Politicalprof has a very good analysis of how the people that wrote, sponsored or co-sponsored, and pushed the legislation who were vilified by the twitter and blogospheres in the past week probably didn’t realize they were doing something “bad”. Even more interesting in his analysis is that he explains why lobbying is actually an important part of the democratic system and how everyone who tweeted, facebooked, sent letters, signed protests, etc. on the subject became lobbyists themselves for a day. I certainly contacted my Congressman and Senators about the anti-piracy bills, as I do so somewhat often on issues I feel are important, and was pleased to see two of them, both cosponsors of the respective bills, withdraw their support. What I hadn’t fully thought about is how millions of people who, unlike me, don’t frequently send letters or sign petitions on issues became lobbyists for the internet for a day, and reading this take on it certainly made me smile.
My turn back on the skewer: lobbying is not an inherently bad thing.
To make my case, let me briefly recount an under-appreciated part of the debate about PIPA and SOPA: the roles that lobbying played in both designing and killing the proposed bills (at least SOPA).
News flash: lots of bills…