How to Kill SOPA, PIPA While Building Consensus for Sensible Legislation
NEWS ANALYSYS: Shutting off Websites like Wikipedia for a few hours isn't going to have an impact on Congress, but there are things you can do to convince your representatives to find a way to fix this mess.Turning off a few big Websites is a nice gesture. I'm sure the operators of Wikipedia, Reddit and the other sites that are going dark are proud of themselves for making the statement, and are probably patting themselves on the back, thinking they struck a blow for an open Internet. They're kidding themselves. Congress doesn't care. Members of Congress mostly care about one thing, and that's getting re-elected. This being an election year, they care about it more than they will next year. The only way to fight bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is to appeal to members of Congress in a way that makes them worry about getting re-elected.
The reason members of Congress pile on to bills such as SOPA and the PROTECTIP Act (PIPA) is that their party leadership, along with some big donors, tells them they should do this because it will enhance their chances in November. Toeing the party line will help get party and Political Action Committee (PAC) support. Courting big donors will ensure big donations to their private PACs. As you've probably noticed, movie studios and recording companies have lots of money that they donate to PACs. Thus, members of Congress tend to do what they say, unless something convinces them to do otherwise.