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Strategies for Media ReformInternational Perspectives$
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Des Freedman, Jonathan Obar, Cheryl Martens, and Robert W. McChesney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823271641

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823271641.001.0001

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Lessons from the SOPA Fight

Lessons from the SOPA Fight

(p.92) Chapter Six Lessons from the SOPA Fight
Strategies for Media Reform

Rainey Reitman

Fordham University Press

In 2012, free speech and access-to-information activists launched the largest digital protest in the history of the Internet to defeat SOPA, a copyright bill. While a range of tactics were used, there were several important factors that proved instrumental in the success of the campaign. Specifically, organizations and activists relied on: 1. Decentralization, i.e., no single organization or coalition controlled messaging or campaigning; 2. Speaking up quickly and frequently through blogging and social media in order to respond to breaking news; 3. Powerful visual imagery that provided an entry-point for journalists and the public; 4. Engaging with Internet communities as a political-engaged force for action; and 5. Crossing political lines.

Keywords:   copyright, internet advocacy, internet blackout, online protest, SOPA

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