Mainstream Media Gets Wind of SOPABy: Chris Richardson - December 19, 2011
Largely, the fight between SOPA supporters and those against the potential censoring of the Internet, all in name of protecting the entertainment industry’s intellectual property, has been conducted over the web. But now, it seems the mainstream media, the corporate-owned entity that it is, has finally thrown their hat into the fight, and surprisingly, they aren’t simply repeating the talking points put forth by SOPA-supporting government officials.
In fact, much to my surprise, the mainstream, 24-hour media cycle — including Fox News — is offering the “SOPA is bad for the web” perspective, and seems to be supporting that perspective. Take, for instance, the appearance of the Cato Institute’s Jim Harper on Fox News’ business channel. Considering the think tank’s libertarian background, it’s safe to say the group is against the protection acts, and I can’t help but be impressed by the Fox Business Channel’s willingness to relay the message.
In all honesty, I would’ve expected RIAA mouthpieces to get much more air time, explaining how SOPA will single-handedly save the entire entertainment industry. Instead, anti-SOPA positions had the floor. Thanks to TechDirt’s post, we have video of Harper’s appearance, which dissects the potential dangers these bills pose:
Does this mean the Fox company doesn’t care if their content is uploaded to YouTube? Try to upload an episode of The Simpson and see how long it lasts. That being said, wanting to protect your content and supporting a law that could damage the basic structure of the web are two different things, and it’s refreshing to see an entity like Fox News give at least equal time to those that oppose SOPA.
While Harper’s appearance isn’t as long as it should be, he does a great job of discussing the players involved with SOPA/PIPA, and the host even mentions something about a lack of due process. All in all, color me impressed. Granted, a two-minute television appearance isn’t even close to the necessary amount of time it would take to discuss all the potential ills of the protection acts, but the fact that the opposition is getting a platform to share their views, one that extends beyond the Internet, is a step in the right direction.
TechDirt also points to a tweet from MSNBC personality, Dylan Ratigan, who indicates his show will be discussing SOPA as well:
The question I have is this a “too little, too late,” situation, or, like Ratigan says, is this a case of timing being everything?