Innovate or Legislate
How the Hollywood establishment used SOPA to try to regulate its competition away


In 2012, a number of institutions that long defined how Americans communicated are teetering near the brink of collapse. Major newspapers in cities across the country have stopped publishing. Strip-mall anchors from Circuit City to Blockbuster to Borders have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The U.S. Postal Service struggles under the weight of crushing pension obligations, as e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and Skype render it all but obsolete. In politics, traditional modes of wielding power are also being disrupted. One prominent example is the recent battle over the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, in which grassroots activists defeated once-powerful Hollywood lobbyists.

What’s toppling these formerly invincible companies and institutions? In almost every case, the proximate cause is the Internet, and the disruption it has wrought on inefficient businesses in every corner of the economy. And so we are now engaged in a war over its future.


March 5, 2012    |     Volume LXIV, No. 4

  • Santorum is the man to beat Barack Obama.
  • Our president has one, unfortunately.
  • The glory of the A-10 Thunderbolt II.
  • Elizabeth II, a monarch of whom Britain can be proud.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Arthur Herman reviews Eisenhower in War and Peace, by Jean Edward Smith.
  • Daniel J. Mahoney reviews It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past, by David Satter.
  • Joe Carter reviews The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism, by Jeffrey Bell.
  • Eugene Schlanger reviews Head Off & Split: Poems, by Nikky Finney.
  • Ross Douthat reviews The Woman in Black.
  • John Derbyshire tells a story from World War II.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
The Bent Pin  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .