SOPA: Innovation Black Out
From 2011-2014, Daniel Honan was the Managing Editor at Big Think. Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production for Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch in 2002. The production team he oversaw won over two dozen Emmy awards. Daniel has created numerous shows and documentaries for television, and his film credits include Stealing the Fire, a documentary on the black market for nuclear weapons technology.
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Who's even heard of SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act? And who really cares about the outcome of this legislation? Isn't it really just "an insiders' game" played between "a bunch of rich guys" -- the tech industry and the content industry?
We heard the answer to those questions loud and clear today, and this is what it sounded like: 700 websites chose to "go black" in protest of the legislation designed to protect intellectual property rights. On Twitter, users ruminated about what life would be like without Twitter:
While others badgered Mark Zuckerberg to join the cause and take Facebook down for the day:
This sentiment was also confirmed by pollsters. A recent Zogby survey found a remarkably high level of awareness about SOPA -- nearly 60 percent of likely voters. Of those, 68 percent opposed the legislation. This level of opposition clearly caught politicians off guard, as a number of Senate Republicans who had previously supported SOPA quickly jumped ship today.
None of this was all that surprising to the venture capitalist Brad Burnham, who is a prominent opponent of SOPA. Burnham told Big Think that SOPA would be an innovation-killer, and that would not sit well with, for instance, the 800 million people who use Facebook.
Watch the video here:
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Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan
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