On the day after the Wikipedia led Blackout of its Website, (which was subsequently joined by a number of other sites) the only question one can have, is how did America reach the point that such a bill as SOPA could have been written, much less brought before Congress?
I had heard that 'Lobbyists' rule; that any rich man or corporation can 'buy' the American Congress.
It was one of those remarks one expects from people who wear tin foil caps. But looking at January 18, 2012, where those who actually introduced the Bill have decided not to support it; suggests the very real possibility that Congress has lost connection to the American People.
Very few people understand that the argument about 'Copy write' as put forward by those who support SOPA is rubbish.
Firstly, recording companies benefit recording companies, not artistes, not the public. Record companies decided who was to be heard, what was to be heard, and how much those who wrote and performed the music were to be paid. In some cases, the performer got 1c for every dollar.
Secondly, the argument which tried to link pirated motion pictures to killing the industry was a rerun; it was tried at the advent of Television, tried at the advent of Cable, and movies are still here.
The real purpose of the law had little to do with protecting Copyright and a lot to do with protecting bank accounts.
That Americans were oblivious to the ramifications of the law, many unaware of the law about to be passed by those who purported to represent them.
Further, the representatives were representing WHOM? The people who voted for them or the monied interests who purportedly owned them?
The power of Lobbyists in the United States is enormous. Most people have no idea that this is the way laws are passed, that private interests virtually controls the American Congress. And this is legal.
It is perfectly legal.
A corporation, even a rich man, can hire a group of Lobbyists who will somehow, (not going too far beneath the surface) gain access to members of Congress and somehow, (again not digging too deeply) convince him/her to support or present certain legislation which benefits that corporation or rich man.
If Wikipedia and other sites had not participated in a Blackout of the Web, if various people and organisations had not brought the issue to the public, Congress, which seems to represent Lobbyists, would have passed SOPA.