SOPA: Watts Up With That?

Most netizens will be aware that today is a day to protest SOPA, the controversial “Stop Online Piracy Act” bill introduced in the United States House of Representatives in October 2011 but not yet passed.

In essence, SOPA would give content creators a tool to enforce copyright by, among other things, blocking access to “infringing” websites. The driving force behind this are wealthy corporate interests in the music, television and film industries. The concern is that this will be used as a tool for suppressing free speech by simply alleging copyright infringement.

In the context of climate denialism you’d think that Anthony Watts, who often rails against imagined suppression and censorship of “climate skepticism” would be particularly concerned. But no. Crickets over there on an issue that Anthony would have us believe is fundamental to his activities.

Perhaps Anthony sees an easy way to harass people expressing views he doesn’t like and tool for impeding his critics. He’s tried, comically, to use copyright infringement as a weapon in the past.

2012-01-19 Update: I track Anthony’s blog by RSS feed, which apparently didn’t include his post about the horrors of SOPA. It ends with a press release from conspiracy enthusiast Senator Jim Inhofe, who has in the past seemed eager to use the power of his office to intimidate. Anthony’s late-in-the-day take on the issue turns out to be predictable, as are many of his reader comments are about how SOPA is intended to help the Obama communists crush individualism. Progressive resistance is more nuanced; SOPA is a gift from beholden politicians to media conglomerates intent on protecting their profits that, through ill-design, places free speech at risk. Isn’t that the same thing?