I spent this week in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. It was my first visit and I have to say the place is top-rate. Some of the best museums you can imagine and the C-SPAN junkie in me was absolutely thrilled to walk inside Congress Hall, location of the first U.S. House and Senate from 1790-1800. But just because I’m out sightseeing doesn’t mean the news stops. Here are the top stories I followed this week:
A mid-week election saw Richard Mourdock topple long-standing Republican Senator Richard Lugar. Has anybody bothered to ask Mourdock or (Democrat rival) Joe Donnelly’s thoughts on legislation like CISPA and SNOPA? Not this week, when all the talk was about Zuckerberg’s hoodie and President Obama’s evolution on same-sex marriage.
The internet stood up and crushed SOPA/PIPA this week (at least temporarily). It was a pretty amazing day as Wikipedia went dark and citizens across the land let their voices be heard. It’s not over yet and there’s news that a new bill, ACTA, is even worse than SOPA. Stay tuned.
“I personally think intellectual property is an oxymoron. Physical objects have a completely different natural economy than intellectual goods. It’s a tricky thing to try to own something that remains in your possession even after you give it to many others.” – John Perry Barlow
SOPA is THE issue in IP for early 2012. There is plenty of opposition to the bill from all sides but I’m left with so little confidence in Congress doing the right thing that I can’t forecast an optimistic outcome. I’m tempted to mail a copy of William Patry’s new book “How to Fix Copyright” to all of my congressmen. I’m about halfway through and it carries a vital message that hopefully gets to our elected officials before SOPA is passed and does permanent damage to the Internet.
Stories from the Week that Was – 12/25/11-12/31/11
2011 was quite a year. We witnessed intellectual property trump civil liberties time and time again. I’ll continue to archive the most important stories from each week, although I’m no longer certain it’s best for my mental health. Onward and upward (hopefully).