The Real SOPA Battle: Innovators vs. Goliath

by James Allworth and Maxwell Wessel, Harvard Business Review, January  18, 2012

… the purpose of this article isn’t to explain what SOPA [Stop Online Piracy Act] and PIPA [Protect IP Act] will do. Instead, it’s about explaining what’s brought them about: SOPA and PIPA are prime examples of big companies trying to do everything they can to stop new competitors from innovating. …

So if “content” vs “technology” doesn’t capture what’s going on in this fight, what does? Well, SOPA makes much more sense if you look at the debate as big companies unwilling to accept change versus the innovative companies and startups that embrace change. And if we accept that startups are created to find new ways to create value for consumers, the debate is actually between the financial interests of “big content” shareholders versus consumer interests at large. …

Check out the full text of this interesting article at The Real SOPA Battle: Innovators vs. Goliath – James Allworth and Maxwell Wessel – Harvard Business Review.

NOTE: If you want to learn more about the history of copyright law and the tug-a-war between big content shareholders and new innovators, check out Jessica Littman’s book Digital Copyright or her many articles on the politics of copyright and copyright reform.

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