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Agreed. So here's how we do it.

This is the word: Prohibition. It's our "death panels".

This is how you tell it to grandma:

  - The music & movie industries want a Prohibition on user-created content.
  - When radio was invented, they wanted a Prohibition on it.
  - When cable TV was invented, they wanted a Prohibition on it.
  - When the VCR was invented, they wanted a Prohibition on it.
  - Now Youtube and many other websites have been invented.
  - Youtube is very entertaining; you can watch funny cat videos all day long.
  - They want the Government to create a Prohibition on Youtube.

I went and found my password for this account which I haven't used in an age just to say this is a really good idea, I hope other people who get a chance to talk on TV about this pick up on it.


I don't think that's accurate enough. 'Prohibition' is better for the War on Drugs, which draws a more meaningful connection to the 20s.

If I had to paint in broad, evocative strokes, I'd claim the industries are using the government to prop up their outdated business models by destroying competition from users.

So I'd suggest 'Monopoly.'


I don't like 'Monopoly' because most people don't recognize that as a fundamental problem. In fact in the case of media, monopoly is assumed as necessary to provide you with what you want (hundred million dollar blockbuster films).

The key thing to focus on is the imbalance of power SOPA creates and how that will end up getting in the way of Uncle Art's evening entertainment. So far the shoplifting shutting down the store analogy is the most pointed I've heard, but still not a catch phrase.


I find the shoplifting analogy decent, but the main flaw I see is that it keeps the discussion framed around crimes being committed and what is the punishment. Even if the punishment is seen as really extreme, centuries of legislation have shown that being "tough on crime" is extremely popular.

My hope with the term 'Prohibition' is to turn it around and put the focus on the evil being done by the media companies. They want the government take away your rights, because they don't want to compete fair and square with web technologies.


Fair points on Prohibition. It definitely has the negative-only effect that you'd want; I'll have to think about it.

Here's an analogy I've been using that might work: "They're tying your hands behind your back so you have to pay them to feed you."


'Monopoly' is a good one too. I don't think the terms are mutually exclusive:

"They want the Government to create a Prohibition so they can have a Monopoly on content"

That said, I do think 'Prohibition' is an accurate description. SOPA may well be the first step in a 'War on Piracy' that does have strong parallels with '20s prohibition and the drug war. SOPA is a futile attempt to stop normal human behavior - sharing of content. It won't work. The fact that it won't work could lead to even more draconian blocking measures, creating a self-reinforcing loop of ever-escalating restrictions and punishments. 'Prohibition' conveys that futility and extremeness pretty well for a single term.


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