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.
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 (â€Justice Leagueâ€)” – 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!”
Also, that’s not Pixar (â€The Incrediblesâ€) 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).
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.
Protecting the open Internet ? The only thing they are willing to protect is their own profit.