When Obama, in the midst of all the NSA leaks and Syria rumblings, brings up copyright infringement, it says to me that the Entertainment/Content/Propaganda Complex is calling in favors.
I think the next great public shitstorm is going to be around TaxCloud's The Marketplace Fairness Act, which was rammed through the senate, and currently being rammed through the house. Most people don't realize that it's going to raise prices on every single online purchase, and just like SOPA, it's going to require a massive outcry from regular people to offset the millions of dollars in lobbying and back room dealings.
Cory I'm really glad you posted this. Because it will remind us that all of our efforts matter. The people in the beltway operate on the idea, "This is how WE would do it, if we needed to stop something. They assume that Grassroots aren't real because THEIR grassroots aren't real. They assume that the only thing that works are big money lobbyists because that is how they work.
Now let's model how they will use this information. If I was them I would spend money in these ways:
1) Keep showering money on legislators and staff. "Sure you voted against SOPA, but did they give you any money for helping them? Will they give you money next year or a good job later? No. We will. Keep that in mind. When day is your next fund raiser Congressman?
2) Hide the next round of actions (e.g embedding it in trade deals like TPP)
3) Get the big players behind them, They assume that if they can get Google and Wikipedia to change their policy they grassroots won't matter.
4)Co-opt the grassroots with confusing bill names. (American Intellectual Property Protection Act )
5) Create their own grassroots group with misleading names. "Americans and Small businesses for Freedom On the Internet" which will be an Industry front group for the SOPA fights supposedly started by a couple of kids at a university that want to make some movies but are thwarted.
6) Buy up or Buy out voices. Like the spirits industry ending up turning Carrie Lightner of MADD or the anti-abortion groups got the woman at the heatr of Roe v. Wade to come out against abortion.
So expect big names who were for Net Neutrality to come forward and say, "We were wrong. This is really about "Quality of Service" not about censoring anyone. And "We SHOULD care about Movie piracy. China is taking MY intellectual property now. First they came for the music makers but I didn't speak up because I didn't make music, they they came for the movie makers, but I didn't speak up because I didn't make movies. Now they are coming for the coders and nobody is there to speak up for me.
They will admit they were wrong and put in suggestions like let's put into place more transparency and IDs. I'll start, just like Iron Man and tell everyone who I am. I don't download movies and music and I'm proud to pay the artists! And then they will start putting pressure on other voices to join them or denounce them. This fractures the community and creates dissent in the ranks. A unified voice is harder to stop, a bunch of factions can be steamrolled."
7) Start buying "science" and pushing opinion. This is the climate change trick. When there are experts who disagree then you have a news story. and "The truth lies somewhere in the middle." the public starts seeing the people against SOPA as against growth, business and for illegal acts. If you can tie the anti-Sopa to them to child porn, rape or vicious terrorists all the better. "What is Tor good for? Men cruising Child PORN! It's used by terrorists!
Most of these steps are already in motion. This is what they do. When you have Tobacco industry level money flowing into this fight they will use that playbook plus some new tricks like sock puppets and purchased Likes and Followers.
Is that jpg broken or is it my browser?
a lot of inside-the-Beltway commentators assured their constituencies that the SOPA fight wasn't really any kind of grassroots effort -- it was led by Google, or Wikipedia, or someone.
After the SOPA protest, I heard that tripe all over the Internet from people speaking in ignorance. To this day, people malign online efforts, call all of it "slacktivism" and roundly discount its power despite a solid history of making an impact.
It's basically just educating one another. To dismiss the power of education is to dismiss the crux of every human advancement made in history. People en masse don't get informed and motivated to demand change out of thin air.
The Founding Fathers of the United States did the same thing but with a different medium. Obviously, Internet activism needs to be followed up with offline activism, but it's not going to happen in the first place if people aren't informed.
That's said, I do hope we don't reach a point where people think they don't need to do things offline to make a difference. There does need to be followup along with the online efforts as well.
And is Benkler funded by Google too? It's hilarious to see these claims that this is a "grassroots" effort. Google is an incredibly rich company and they shower money onto Wikipedia and the EFF to push their version of "sharing". And that version means "you share your content but we don't share our ad dollars."
Well said! But don't start comparing tobacco money, unless you are willing to go the whole way with it. In that case, there was (and is) a huge push-back from the anti-tobacco lobby. And that one is just as much insider, if not moreso.
For example, the Office of Smoking and Health, lodged within the Centers for Disease Control. They are well-funded, and staffed at our own expense. I once saw the whiteboard in the conference room they had used to discuss the coming year's strategies. I think it was Number 2 in the list: "Associate smoking with every possibly known disease." Because, they're the CDC. They can produce crap papers based on worse science, and hold a huge amount of unquestioning public trust that way.
And in the end, what you get is the result that 'tobacco science' and anti-tobacco science' are pretty much the same things, promoted for pretty much the same reasons - because the results go in somebody's pocket.
Granted, this is an example of what happens when the steps you outlined are actually partially successful. Any hint of a democratic process is shut down. Witness the anti-tobacco lobby's efforts to shut down the e-cigs business on zero evidence of any harm...not to mention, the fact that there IS no tobacco in those products at all. Ultimately, they got shot down on that basis - but not for want of trying! And we still see the phony papers and articles coming out like clockwork in a bid to shut down potentially the best harm-reduction strategy yet. Now, they are claiming it's because the tobacco companies have a major stake in that business - but that wasn't so when they went after the e-cig business in the first place! So, its playing out precisely as your list predicted, except that in this case, an agency of the government itself is involved - and the citizenry is completely shut out of the process.
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