An Internet Justice League

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.

Two – The Alliance for Internet Freedom.

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.

4 thoughts on “An Internet Justice League

  1. I suspect you’re not the target demographic. There’s going to be lots of harumphing from some quarters, about the “weird” – which might even help the campaign.

    I don’t like it, because I’m not keen on the manipulation involved. But the messaging is pretty clear to me.

    As in, “the commercial interests of these big corporations” == “freedom, cool, hip, for you geeks!”

    PS – “Marvel (”Justice League”)” – you just proved why you’re not the target. Marvel has the Avengers. The Justice League is DC.

    PPS – nobody gets my joke when I compare my net-activism experiences to the last page of “Superduperman!”

  2. Also, that’s not Pixar (”The Incredibles”) on the AIF site. It’s a Japanese manga style. Pixar has some vague similarities but the AIF is referencing the manga, not the Pixar (the head-shapes are the clearest divider – the manga heads have greater width than height, Pixar heads have greater height than width).

  3. I’m certainly not the target demographic! Your corrections are kind, and I have (sort of) fixed up the post.

    As someone who is skeptical of SOPA-to-come (i.e., “refinements” of SOPA now in the pipeline), I worry that a cool, hip, anti-corporate attitude preaches to the choir – and reinforces the sense (among the pro-SOPA-to-come community) that these are children in the Interent sandbox, and the playground of the Internet needs some adult supervision.

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