According to Chris Dodd, the response against SOPA was unlike anything he’s seen in his thirty years in politics. He called it a ‘watershed event’.


Proponents of SOPA argue:

Opponents of SOPA argue:

Proponents want to believe that somehow Google made me oppose SOPA. What should be of even more concern to Chris Dodd was that Google had very little incremental effect. Their contribution to the movement was weak compared to what the real grassroots did.

There was no astroturf:

  • I learned of SOPA from one of the image boards.
  • It led to a slow moving reddit bloom a few days later.
  • We all gathered our pitch forks and went after go daddy.
  • Another reddit bloom encouraging blackouts ensued.
  • The cost of incremental votes lost outweighed the benefits of incremental lobby dollars.

The pattern was obvious to anybody watching the situation unfold.

The real test of whether this is a watershed event is vigilance. Chris Dodd will try again. Hopefully they’ll have a plan for absorbing their own costs for their own enforcement, but with fewer externalities and 99% less rent seeking. They probably won’t.

Piracy has to be addressed. The entire business model needs revamping. There’s no doubt. It’s just how it gets addressed, with as little damage to other sectors, is the real question.

I hope that this awoken GenY. The pattern of ignorance, I hope, has been broken now that something real and concrete in their lives has been attacked.


I’m Christopher Berry.
I tweet about analytics @cjpberry
I write at