Number of the Day

4.5 million: That's how many people reportedly signed Google's anti-SOPA/PIPA petition yesterday.
A spokeswoman for Google confirmed that 4.5 million people added their names to the company's anti-SOPA petition today.

Not too shabby.

...Of course, Google's anti-SOPA and PIPA petition is not the only one out there on this day of mass online protest. As of this writing 1.458 million people signed a similar petition at the activist website, and Fight for the Future said that between its two sites, and, at least 350,000 people have sent emails to representatives in the House and Senate.

A graphic put out by Google shows that before today's coordinated protests, 3 million Americans had signed various petitions against the two bills.

In other SOPA number news, a spokeswoman from the popular blogging platform WordPress, said that at last count, 25,000 WordPress blogs had joined the SOPA and PIPA protest by blacking out their blogs entirely, and another 12,500 used the "Stop Censorship" ribbon.

Today, the White House Blog reports that 103,785 people signed petitions through the We The People website asking the president to protect a free and open Internet.
This fight is not over. It is going to require vigilance, because both Republicans and Democrats want to pass this legislation, and they will try to sneak it past the public every legislative session.

Yesterday there was some consternation in comments about why it is that otherwise progressive Democrats would support this legislation. I noted: "My guess: Because Democrats are bought and sold by corporate entities and private wealth, too. It just so happens that a lot of the big financiers of Democratic campaigns are part of the entertainment industry, whose lobbyists probably authored SOPA/PIPA. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a lot of back-room blackmail going on right now from Democratic super-fundraisers who raised and donated huge amounts for President Obama last election, like Rob Reiner, for example."

This morning, I read this: Hollywood Moguls Stopping Obama Donations Because of President's Piracy Stand: 'Not Give a Dime Anymore': "[Several media] moguls privately are having 'direct and personal conversations' with Obama and his administration and the Democratic Party. Several moguls have informed Obama's newly anointed Hollywood re-election liaison to the entertainment community, Nicole Avant, and her husband who is helping her, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, that they are pulling out of major fundraisers planned over the next few days and won't participate in any more headed by Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (whom they see as in the pocket of the Internet giants like Google)."

Does it matter if "Hollywood" decides not to contribute to the president's reelection campaign? Well, yeah. All those attacks during the last election about Obama being cozy with celebrities weren't just (racist and anti-Semitic) appeals to the conservatives who emit a Pavlovian snarl in response to the mere suggestion of "Hollywood liberal elites"—they were also a dog whistle about whence comes Obama's corporate donations.

The piracy issue is a big problem for Democrats, whose corporate sponsors want legislation like SOPA/PIPA passed and don't give a fuck how ineffective (and counterproductive) such legislation actually would be, but whose tech constituency will fight this shit tooth and keyboard.

And that's all the surface stuff. Below that lies a darker reality, which is that both parties would happily use any excuse to kill social media, because it's a lot easier to do their business in the dark, without accountability, in a culture where the hoi polloi doesn't have such a convenient means of organizing.

Which is all why we're going to have to be vigilant even if, as it appears, we have won this round. It was merely an opening salvo in what will be a very long war.

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