By now, most readers of the Art of Retrocollage are aware that American freedom of expression dodged a rather large and lethal bullet a couple of weeks ago, when the notorious SOPA and PIPA bills were indefinitely shelved in Congress—thanks in large part to popular outrage from many among you who courageously spoke out against repression and censorship.
SOPA and PIPA would have imposed totalitarian-style censorship on the Internet in the United States, limiting what citizens of this country could see and hear online. In the name of combating intellectual property theft and piracy, these measures would have eliminated due process and punished the innocent along with the guilty, shut down websites indiscriminately and without recourse, and tampered with the Internet’s Domain Name System.
But now that SOPA and PIPA have been defeated, they’ve also been unmasked and shown for what they really were: brazen attempts on the part of the corporate motion picture and music recording industries (as represented by their trade organizations, MPAA and RIAA, and their allies) to limit competition by establishing a virtual monopoly on production and distribution of creativity on the Internet.
And one should not think even for a moment that “BigContentCo, Inc.,” as I fondly call them, have given up trying to monopolize and control the Internet; SOPA and PIPA were just Round One in a battle that will go on until the rest of us have found a way to defeat them once and for all. And indeed, the fight may never be over. As 19th-century abolitionist Wendell Philips said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
To commemorate the occasion when SOPA and PIPA got their clock cleaned, and BigContentCo, Inc. was pasted in the eye, this week’s Wordless Wednesday picture is dedicated to them. Thanks, BCCo, for keeping us on our toes and giving us a good fight!
(All artwork, descriptions, & other text created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.)