01/19/2012 12:00 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Internet Spring Could Lead to an Internet Awakening

People have asked me about the whole SOPA thing, how bad a law it could be.

Sure, SOPA and PIPA are really destructive, potentially damaging U.S. competitiveness and genuinely killing jobs. However, there's some good news associated with the reaction to the bad law, news that we're missing.

As an industry, we've been able to rationalize that bad laws and politics don't matter, but now we're waking up. More importantly, this has also gotten the attention of "the Internet," meaning a lot of the people who use the Net. That includes some really smart Hill staffers who believe in the democratic potential of the Net.

It's taken some really bad potential laws, but it's roused the sleeping giant, both the people who build the Internet, and people in general who comprise the Internet community.

Maybe a mixed metaphor, but this might be a genie that can't be put back into the bottle. I'm hoping that we're seeing an Internet Spring leading to an Internet Awakening.

Or, mixing metaphors further, Andy Meek reminds us that the Founders were really smart:

Benjamin Franklin is said to have once described democracy as two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty, he went on to point out, is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.