For our friends in the PR industry… you know how December reliably yields “Top 10 PR Stories/Blunders/Hype of 20XX” features? Let’s make a bold (haha) prediction: The first list item in 2012′s annual rounds-ups will be the greater online community’s stand against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. In the face of a sustained global lobbying campaign to beat the bill back, one Congressional Staffer described SOPA as a “dirty word beyond anything you can imagine.”
There’s little point in discussing the back and forth between SOPA opponents and proponents. It’s safe to say the prime forces in favor of SOPA, such as the Motion Picture Association of America, have lost this fight. As much as this blog discusses the power of words in PR, don’t forget the power of (website) images as well. The MPAA’s site has a small subpage devoted to discussing “rogue websites” which is the keyword the content industry is pushing to dominate the debate.
In turn, Wikipedia simply shut itself down today with the following landing page:
So to review: The MPAA gets caught up on explaining process, and Wikipedia goes blank. Pure PR KO for SOPA opponents.