At least two groups of would-be superheroes to protect the Internet from future SOPA/PIPA legislation have emerged. (Apologies if I’m late to this development.)
One – The Internet Defense League.
Whatever you think of these on the merits, they share at least one interesting rhetorical feature: an appeal to a weirdly blended superhero sensibility about the purported good guy / bad guy dynamic playing out in debates over IP. I’m really unclear on the message here. Supposedly these are the good guys – but the messaging blends DC Comics (“bat signal”)
/ Marvel (“Justice League”) / [corrected per Seth's comments] Pixar (“The Incredibles” – note the comic characters at the AIF site) sensibilities that reads more “we’re hip and ironic and pop culturish” than persuasive. If I have my bearings right, we have more or less equal parts Dark Vigilante-ism in the Public Interest, Because Public Authorities Have Exhausted Their Powers; Truth, Justice, and the American (anti-Communist) Way; and Pixar’s “All of that stuff about the Public Interest and the American Way is just silly; really, let’s celebrate our own unearned but extraordinary talent.” I’ll wrap it up in a bloggishly flip way: These are the Three Faces of Steve Jobs. This is “protecting” the open Internet? As I said: weird.