Clay Shirky: Why SOPA is a bad idea

In this recent TED talk, Clay Shirky makes a spot on, scary, fantastic argument why SOPA, PIPA and their brethren bills are so terribly damaging. Plus, he puts the bills into their historical context – I for one really hadn’t noticed how directly they align with former content industry initiatives like the DMCA and others. There’s a strong vector at work here, and it’s a hurtful one.

Must watch!

On the other hand, what we’re seeing here is a coming-of-age moment for the “other side” – the internet community at large, the free culture & open source communities, the technology companies.

With a Web-wide protest on Wednesday that includes a 24-hour shutdown of the English-language Wikipedia, the legislative battle over two Internet piracy bills has reached an extraordinary moment — a political coming of age for a relatively young and disorganized industry that has largely steered clear of lobbying and other political games in Washington.

So while you’re at it, have a look at this New York Times article: A Political Coming of Age for the Tech Industry.