Although both SOPA and PIPA failed in the House and Senate, the fight is far from over. As long as lobbyists are buying their legislation, and Congressmen are willing to front their bills, the fight will never be over.

Last week, Congress faced a challenge the likes of which they had not dealt with in some time: an opponent who was not swayed by lobbyists or corporate monies. 


In a misguided effort to halt online piracy, Congress sought to push through the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act. The issues that these bills faced were from the vocal online community, which banded together across race, gender and political party lines in ways that our lawmakers never could do, or imagine.


So what was the issue with these two bills that had the Internet all ablaze? First, the legislation was funded after a $94-million series of donations by the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. The language of said legislation was obviously constructed with the benefits of the conglomerates solely in mind.


You may be asking yourself, as I did, “What is wrong with stopping people from stealing movies and music from the hard-working people who produce and make them?” There is no issue with stopping piracy, but these two bills would not have done the job without potentially killing the entire Internet.


The language of SOPA and PIPA sought to shut down the source of alleged piracy at the DNS level and cut it off at the server level. The problem with this, though, is there was no due process in the procedure. The MPAA or RIAA could allege that your personal blog violates their intellectual properties, and have it shut down –– just like that.  No court, no trial, no lawyers... nothing.


So what did the Internet do to show its displeasure? Late last week, sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing, Imagur and Craigslist all shut down for 12 hours to show what a SOPA/PIPA world could look like.


The MPAA and RIAA called the protests a “stunt” and tried to have Congress intervene to stop them. Much like their legislation, that bid also failed.


Although both bills failed in the House and Senate, the fight is far from over. As long as lobbyists are buying their legislation, and Congressmen are willing to front their bills, the fight will never be over. A free and open Internet is the biggest and best invention of the past 25 years.


We Internet users are asking for a simple concept from Congress where legislation about technology and the Web are concerned: Bring in a real expert, bring in someone that actually knows about the Internet. Do not simply let lobbyists buy their legislation, and do not have yourself for sale as an elected official.