Sopa Would DESTROY Jobs and the Economy … So Why are Unions Supporting It?

George Washington's picture

By Washington’s Blog


The promoters of the Stop Online Privacy Act (Sopa) are pretending that it would save jobs and help the economy.

But it would actually destroy jobs and hurt the economy.

No one is going to invest in the next Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Reddit, or YouTube if they know that websites can be shut down after a single unsubstantiated copyright complaint.

The only sector of our economy that’s in good shape is web technology (for example, Google is hiring like crazy right now). Sopa would put a huge dent in the web sector and destroy jobs.

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson notes:

Big companies . . . can afford to defend themselves from litigious content companies. But three person startups cannot. And Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were three person startups not so long ago. If they had not had the protection of the safe harbors of the DMCA, they could have been litigated out of business before they even had a chance to grow and develop into the powerhouses they have become. And venture capitalists will think more than twice about putting $3mm of early stage capital into startups if they know that the vast majority of the funds will go to pay lawyers to defend the companies instead of to hire engineers to create and build product.

A group of well-known law professors say:

SOPA is a dangerous bill. It threatens the most vibrant sector of our economy – Internet commerce. It is directly at odds with the United States’ foreign policy of Internet openness, a fact that repressive regimes will seize upon to justify their censorship of the Internet. And it violates the First Amendment.

Vice President Joe Biden admits:

The digital marketplace of ideas that welcomes every blog and tweet is the same one that inspires the next generation of innovators to fuel our economies. And when businesses consider investing in a country with a poor record on Internet freedom, and they know that their website could be shut down suddenly, their transactions monitored, their staffs harassed, they’ll look for opportunities elsewhere.

The Hill points out:

SOPA is the equivalent of curing a headache with a guillotine. It ... would shut down our economy and unconstitutionally erode our most basic freedoms in the process.

Edward J. Black – President and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association – says:

The … legislation will also threaten the growth of the most economically dynamic and technologically innovative sector of the U.S. economy.




From an economic standpoint, the proposed legislation promises to saddle one of the U.S.’s most internationally competitive economic sectors with significant legal risk and a massive number of lawsuits — seriously hampering growth of and investment.

TechFreedom argues:

SOPA, regrettably, represents a big step backward in Washington’s efforts to support the digital revolution, one of the only sectors of the economy that continues to grow.

A group of high-powered Internet leaders note:

We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation, as well as to our Nation’s cybersecurity.

David Ulevitch – CEO of OpenDNS – points out:

If passed, they will be devastating to the growth of the Internet economy in the United States, will take jobs overseas and will have a chilling effect on innovation.

Andrew Lee – CEO of ESET North America – writes:

This legislation, if passed as currently written, would have a chilling effect on the economy of the United States.

The San Jose Mercury News editorializes:

There are times when Silicon Valley really can help you understand the complexities of legislation that will affect the tech industry – and the world economy. The raging debate over the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act is one of those times. . . . It’s not just the future of the industry that’s at stake here. It’s national security.

The Atlantic argues:

Congress is considering sweeping Internet legislation that purports to target “rogue websites” with the intent of cracking down on the theft of everything from movies to songs to designer handbags. While the goal is laudable, too many innocent websites would wind up in the crosshairs. These bills (the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, in the House) would do more harm than good to cybersecurity, the Internet economy, and online free expression.

The Daily Caller writes:

The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) — a bill currently before the House Judiciary Committee — is a threat to America’s ability to lead the Internet, and must be defeated before it has a chance to damage America’s ability to generate jobs and economic growth online.

TechDirt notes:

SOPA & PIPA don’t attack the real problem, do nothing to build up the services that do solve the problem, and won’t work from a technological standpoint. And that’s just if we look at the what these bills are supposed to do.


The real fear is the massive collateral damage these bills will have to jobs, the economy and innovation.




The AFL-CIO, Teamsters Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and some other unions are supporting Sopa. Their uneducated position gives cover to the other knuckleheads still supporting the bill.

Given that Sopa would destroy jobs and the economy – and is contrary to their members’ and the nation’s interest – everyone should immediately educate the unions and pressure them to withdraw their support.

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Paul Thomason's picture

This bill enforced as it is written immediately and effectively shuts down operations the likes of google, yahoo, apple, facebook etc - besides the irritation of having the gateway to the internet shutdown it would grind much of the worlds electronic commerce to a halt. All of these sites host illegal content and thus they will be shutdown immediately on complaint without right of reply.  

Anybody who thinks this bill is a good idea, will soon change their mind when it takes effect.

Having said that, maybe the play is to short these internet based companies.  I might start writing my copyright infringement complaints against google who serve many of my website images on a basic search without my consent.  Under SOPA my complaint alone is enough to have Google shutdown immediately - so I think I will short Google and send in my complaint and cash in.

Seriously you would have to be either insane or retarded to support this bill.  

The intent of the bill is noble, but the delivery mechanism of SOPA using a nuclear bomb to kill an ant.

aerojet's picture

That's a really stupid idea.  The bill is already dead.

gwar5's picture

TPTB probably already have everything in place they need regarding SOPA, all they want is to make it official. Obama's stealth executive orders already gave him authority for martial law to do what he wants. The NDAA abomination just put a bipartisan seal of approval on it.


We, the people, are the sovereigns. The temporary hired help in Washington no longer like their job descriptions and are preparing a coup. They're going to lock up their masters after looting and torching the house.












Georgesblog's picture

People must have to be serious control freaks to be involved with government. When I heard that there were people in government and the private sector that viewed the common people the same way that a hunter viewed a deer in a field, it made my skin crawl. That's what commerce does. It skews human values and takes on a purely commercial mindset.

aerojet's picture

WTF?  Commerce builds civilization.  I agree about control freaks and government--the Boomer generation has an astounding number of narcissistic control freaks.


nah's picture

the internet is the best thing since rich people bitching about poor people

Joaquin Menendez's picture

THe way things are right now, every Internet company has patent trolls harassing them with the most ridiculous claims.  One troll had a patent from the 1990s that was for a dumb terminal, forget that their are 30 years of dumb terminals before that, but according to this guy his dumb terminal was just like the internet so he was sending letters to every internet company trying to shake them down.  Some lawsuits are mor prescient than others, but I digress.  The point is that now we are going to have lawsuits over site content to contend with.  I as a technologist spend too much time already with the patent trolls but now content trolls.  Its too much.

sleepingbeauty's picture

Unions support it because software guys aren't generally unionized. Unions don't give a hoot if Joe the engineer loses his job and cannot see that if Joe loses his job (and a lot of Joe's friends) so does Rob the electrician and Greg the mechanic and Arthur the GM employee.

Dingleberry's picture

UNIONS support a democratic party that is perfectly fine with MASSIVE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.  Is there any other force (besides "free trade") that harms worker income potential??  You would expect that from money-grubbing-faux-Christian Repubs......but DEMS???? What the fuck? Unions are full of cattle-like masses, that pay a monthly vig to the "International" (i.e. usually the same type of folks that run Wall Street), whever it is located.  Unions served a purpose awhile back. Now all they are simply extortion rackets. Funny to see how many workers see what I do. A lot of unions around here have been "decertified" because paying the vig for no benefit gets  On top of that, most union leadership has been completely bought off by their respective corporations.  Why be in one?

CTG_Sweden's picture



"The promoters of the Stop Online Privacy Act (Sopa) are pretending that it would save jobs and help the economy.

But it would actually destroy jobs and hurt the economy.

No one is going to invest in the next Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Reddit, or YouTube if they know that websites can be shut down after a single unsubstantiated copyright complaint."


My comments:

But the companies mentioned above above other existing, big media companies won´t suffer. And maybe that´s the point. Or one of the points.

Sheriff Douchenik from AZ's picture

This is one of the biggest issues for freedom in the developed world in 2012. Pity no one care as evidenced by the number of comments.

Thanks to GW for the posts on this subject.


Todays Tom Sawyer's picture

I agree, thanks GW for posting this topic here at ZH. 


And keep the updates on Fukushima coming, I wish that the corporate media hadn't buried that story. 

KickIce's picture

Unions have had there place but have long since outlived their worth.  I lost what respect I had remaining when Obama fired the Chevy CEO and then proceeded to circumvent bankruptsy laws by putting unions ahead of bondholders.  Simply put, unions, along with over paid executives, are a huge drag on our economy.

They make their living by bullying.  A perfect fit for this regime and the majority of the legislation currently being passed.

Westcoastliberal's picture

SOPA and the Defense authorization act go hand in hand.  SOPA can be used to quell dissent; the Defense authorization act can be used to round up the offenders and lock them away forever.

Doesn't Congress have more pressing problems to spend time on?  Both these bills pander to their donors and attempt to remove our Constitutional rights.

2discern's picture

CONgress should take a long break from making ANY new laws. If they have to pass time thinking up stuff to pass, start by investigating/vetting the undocumented barry soetero.

IdioTsincracY's picture

Sorry ... just passing by!

Anyway .. If Barry is undocumented, you are a moron!!

Calmyourself's picture

Hey IdioT, just find his grades for us will ya, at least I can prove Little bushie was an idiot but with the bamster I have to guess, so chip in some grades will ya..


3,2,1... crickets, works every time..

sun tzu's picture

Keep sucking on Barry's dick. He might toss inbred morons like you a few more crumbs before his thieving ass is tossed out of office

gwar5's picture

SOPA continues the frog march into totalitarianism. If it can be abused, it will be, especially when it is the obvious intent. I keep asking myself.... What does  TPTB know  is coming, and when did they first know it? It is out of character for them to be in such a rush towards a crackdown instead of just moving incrementally to avoid a public fuss. 




IdioTsincracY's picture

Let me take the other side.

Lots of people are against SOPA, and there are some good reasons to be against it. However very few people despise the causes that brought SOPA about: stealing, piracy, stealing, mory PIRACY, STEALING!!!

Workers make products that are the REAL things that make the REAL economy. Products must be sold not stolen to pay for wages, earnings, dividends, and whatever else.

The fact that "everybody does it" and "it can't be stopped", should not be excuses for not trying.

So, just to recap: stealing products --> no sales --> no earnings --> no wages --> no jobs. How's that for "Why are unions supporting this?!?"

aerojet's picture

There would be a lot less "stealing" if the copyright laws weren't so draconian.  The corporations effectively lobbied government in order to protect their profit margins.  Films and books should fall into the public domain much sooner in the digital age. Instead, we went in the other direction.  It has failed.

I did it by Occident's picture

But there is also a third point of view.  Why is the term for copyright so out of whack as compared to the length of term for say a patent?  The reason is that congress keeps on extending the term at the behest of Disney and other media companies creating a defacto interminable copyright term, which is unconstituional by the way.  I'm all for IP rights but 75 years after the author dies?  You got to be freakin' kidding me.  As an aspirant inventor, that seems a bit unfair 14th equal treatment and all that.  and why the "from the death of the author" caveat. How in the hell is anybody to know when the term is up?  Should I have to look up when such and such a person died and calculate?  Versus relatively easy calculation for patents (basically filing date +20years). 

I did it by Occident's picture

and to add, I would think the term of copyright could be attacked from the very death caveat.  Basic equal treatment issue (14th amendment).  Let's say you have author A and Author B both write equally successful books.  Author A lives to 100 while Author B dies prematurely at 30.  So what the law as written is telling me is that Author A term of copyright will be 70 more years than Author B's.  Doesn't that strike anyone as patently unfair?  (pun intended)

aerojet's picture

It's supposed to protect the interests of the author and that part of the law goes back a long time, iirc.  The problem is that authors sell their rights to publishers, so the original intent of the law is lost.

I did it by Occident's picture

and since corporations are considered people (citizens united v. FEC), should not the copyright term also be the same for real vs. corporate owned works?  Just sayin'...

thewhitelion's picture

Don't anybody say anything.  I think he fell asleep.

IdioTsincracY's picture

Anyway ... you see ... Unions support this because nobody else does ... in fact, most of the people are too busy stealing stuff online every day to bother with this!

sun tzu's picture

Unions are run by scum, retards, and thieves like you

Smokey1's picture

At least he doesn't use a man's cock as an avatar.

Keep dreaming about deepthroating the Chippendales, you queer.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Don't need new laws.

Just look at a site like

They didn't need any new laws to seize the URL and shut down the operation.

Don't underestimate the power of the NFL in the US. They were in part responsible for seizure of numerous URLS that were merely linking to unauthorized broadcasts of their property like the one I posted above.


BTW Goerge don't miss this one from earlier today; The court of appeals upheld that the providers of information obtained via wire taps could not be held liable if the government and themselves provided information not specifically targetted.  So when they target you (which seems inevitable) and get totally unrelated information along the way on me as well, the provider cannot be held legally liable for giving them access to my information.

CH1's picture

Why are unions supporting it?

Simple - the same reason the feminists supported an abuser like Bill Clinton: Sucking up to power.

There is no why, there is only power. Never forget that they are RULERS. Power is all that really matters. All the rest is sucker-bait.

oddjob's picture

Could we distinguish between private unions that risk losing their jobs if the contract is not fair for both sides and government employee unions that have hijacked public infrastructure for personal gain.

rufusbird's picture

Stop Online Privacy Act passes and I cancel my Internet service. Thousands of other people like me will cancel theirs as well. Some of those high wage earning Communications Workers of America members will no longer be needed as internet subscribers cancel their service. It won't take long for it to  sink in.

Smokey1's picture

GW---I keep hoping for the day you post an article that is halfway worth a shit.

I might as well wish for eternal life and world peace.

Savyindallas's picture

Smokey1- Why are you such a dickwad? Are you a paid agent of the evil empire  -or just plain fucking obnoxious and stupid?

Smokey1's picture

Sorry, not affiliated with any evil empire.

I have observed that you and I are regularly on opposite sides of the issues, which can only indicate one thing----(1) you are a cocksucking conspiracy-obsessed pacifist faggot who licks the hairy balls of George Soros and Obama.

Kindly go fuck yourself forthwith.

Respectfully, Smokey 1

sun tzu's picture

Go fuck your whore mother and then kill her for shitting you out

Smokey1's picture

My mother is deceased, so you'll just have to settle for me fucking your whore mother again while you and Savyindallas suck each other off.

I notice you use your avatar to troll for stiff cock on this site. I'd remind you to swallow, but you'd hardly forget that, your favorite part. Eat my asshole.


Smokey 1

pods's picture

Perfect description of regulatory capture.  Big online firms will certainly have clauses built in to protect them. Google, FB et all.  Small websites will be destroyed.  Time to carve up the internet into little fiefdoms, as competition is going to be too costly.  

And of course the regulators will be granted access to all the nooks and crannies of databases.

All for our protection too.


GeezerGeek's picture

Twitter and Facebook are safe as long as they can provide the Feds with access to users' thoughts and information.

Union bosses - hard to justify the term 'leadership' - get paid off by the fascists in charge (think of what O did to GM's debt holders) and we all know how one hand washes the other.

My solution: bring in a bunch of Chinese to build a big physical wall around DC when they are all inside; bring in some Russian or Chinese hackers, or maybe just hire Anonymous, to build a firewall around DC. Let no one in or out.


FreudianSlip's picture

The new 2012 campaign song for those of us tired of being battered day and night by our corrupt government.

non_anon's picture

ha ha, indicative of Union workers, Obama calls them American Workers, private workers need not apply

sgt_doom's picture

"..So Why are Unions Supporting It?"

The answer to this is so very, very easy, good sir!

Speaking as a lifelong volunteer political activist and former union organizer back in the very late '70s:  for the same reason the pathetic morons cheer when Bill Clinton shows up to speak (over $100 million net worth for the Clintons, primarily due to Billygoat's lobbying on behalf of the jobs offshoring industry for all those "free trade" agreements), and when Obama shows up (signed three "free trade" agreements recently, one to send a bunch to slave labor camps in North Korea -- and negative, I am NOT exaggerating; plus put GE's Immelt as "jobs czar", etc.), and for the very same reason I, along with many others, was unable to convince PATCO not to endorse Reagan's presidency pid in 1980 --- idiots, morons, halfwits, and ZERO INFORMATION VOTERS!!!

I wonder how many still are unaware that Meany and Sweeney sold them out????

earleflorida's picture

i am! 

i would loved to have stuck that cigar up his arrogant ass, if that phoney 'SOB' were still alive!!!