The Bane of Global Journalism Supports SOPA

LOS ANGELES—Rupert Murdoch, the man behind the corrupt enterprise known as News Corp—you know, the one that likes to hack into people’s cell phones and bribe law enforcement to look the other way—is lobbying the United States government to pass the SOPA and Protect IP bills now being considered in the House and Senate, respectively.

A HuffPo piece on the subject says, “Both measures would require internet operators to police activity online, and would mandate Internet giants like Google and AOL (the parent company of The Huffington Post and an opponent of the bills) and credit card companies to take down sites that have content deemed to be in violation of copyright rules.”

It makes sense that Murdoch would want laws passed that give him even more of an edge than his discredited practices have already given him, but the irony remains that the man who flouts the law with impunity wants to see legislation passed that would target others by instilling a regime of Orwellian oversight on internet service providers and users.

Just to be clear, I support a significant redress of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act or the passage of strong legislation to address the uneven playing field that currently exists as far as copyright protection on the internet, but not SOPA, and not anything that gives an unrepentant monopolist and political tinkerer like Murdoch even more of an advantage than he already has.

In fact, if anything, Murdoch’s domination of so much of the media landscape is an indication of the legal advantage many governments already provide to huge media companies whose market advantages that have allowed them to grow to gargantuan size over the past several decades. It’s understandable that they would want to lock down those advantages by killing the internet as we know it, but it is not understandable that any government, and especially the one currently holding court in the United States, would want to provide them the means to do that, unless corruption is in play.

Actually, the way forward is quite clear to anyone who does not have a financial stake in either Google or News Corp, representing the two sides, but I don’t expect anyone to hear or care about those puny voices.