If you spend much time at all on the Internet, you no doubt have seen something about the controversy over these two bills that are in Congress.

Proponents of SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) say the legislation is needed to preserve copyright infringement and to stop illegal downloading and other forms of web piracy.

Opponents say these laws, if enacted, could end the Internet as we know it.


Sure. But the issue(s) behind this controversy neither started with the introduction of these to bills nor will it end even if, as now seems likely, SOPA and PIPA are delayed, changed, defeated.

Clay Shirky, one of the smartest Internet guys around, lays out what he thinks the controversy is really all about. Take 10 minutes and listen to him. If you’re like me, you won’t understand all of it, but you’ll know more than you do now.

Click Here for Shirky’s TED talk if the video does not appear below.