The SOPA/PIPA battle isn’t just about who controls intellectual property, it may also represent a decisive watershed in how people see Old versus New Media.
The struggle is nowhere near over: the IP regime is not dead. But many in the ancien regime are surprised by the vehemence and strength of the uprising.
The New York Times reported that a former MPAA aide, complaining about the massive response of online users to protest SOPA/PIPA, explained, “The problem for the content industry is they just don’t know how to mobilize people.”
Is that a joke? The “content industry” controls the media outlets! The “content industry” is in the business of influencing people through advertising. And yet, this former MPAA aide complained that the “content industry” just doesn’t know “how to mobilize people.”
Implied is that somehow new media/internet companies have an unfair advantage. Google and Wikipedia can “mobilize” users directly through their sites that people use every day. But what can Hollywood do? Make ham-handed documentaries claiming jobs are at stake, jobs most users don’t have and so don’t care about.
The irony is brilliant. The influence peddlers, once so-called, are at a disadvantage and are enraged. Where are the millions defending their right to watch expensive movies at high ticket prices? Where are the millions demanding to watch more television commercials in order to support expensive television programs? They aren’t there.
But the millions who use Wikipedia and Google daily understand there may be something to defend. The Old Media’s dismissal of their concerns is just another sign that the tide has turned.
For an “annotated” critique of Viacom’s pro-SOPA video, featuring many employees worried about their jobs, watch: