While the kerfuffle about SOPA and friends has died down for a while, I think that it is worth noting that the politician's syllogism is alive and kicking mightily: while popular depiction of the fight is couched in terms of Hollywood versus the world, looking at a list of SOPA supporters (I won't bother linking to one since they seem to change daily -- nobody wants to admit supporting something unpopular), there are a lot of disparate individuals, companies and organizations that were desperate for somebody to address one or both of the bill's bogeymen: copyright infringement and "rogue" foreign sites. Basically, the fact that somebody tried to pass a crazy law does not mean that there isn't a problem.
Again, PIPA, SOPA and the future semi-secret awfulness that Hollywood will try to pass as law (and eventually will succeed -- let's face it: they are an incredibly powerful lobby) are dreadful attempts to restore a time that has long passed. Clay Shirky summarizes the situation quite well in his recent TED talk (not entirely free of bias, of course). There is an inherent tension between the Internet and business models that rely on scarcity of (virtual) goods. I think that people realize this in the case of media companies but fail to see how many other domains have variations of the same challenge.
The example I find interesting is that of professional photographers: lay people don't understand the traditional pricing model of the retail photography business -- so much of it used to be hidden behind the simple fact that the high-end photographic process was very scarce prior to the digital eral -- so we have painful explosions like this recent one that made the rounds recently. When you get down to it, it used to be really easy to tie pricing to physical goods (prints) because they were scarce to the customer when that wasn't really the what they were paying for (the photographer's skill and equipment). Business photography pricing has likewise been decimated by near-infinite supply of cheap stock photography. We're in a time of plenty -- at least when you want something common. Add to this the fact that Copyright infringement is trivially easy in today's connected age and you have a lot of very frustrated photographers...
So, it is understandable that the professional photography industry is looking for remedies that align with what the movie and music industries want... Or think they want: if there is a common thread to the industries that monetize on intellectual property, it is that they value their own over that of others... By a long shot. Sometimes this results in a humorous role reversal, but the apocryphal version is that programmers steal music, musicians steal movies, moviemakers steal photographs, photographers steal the code for their website and the cycle continues ad nauseam. People just think they are the most special of them all -- if doing the "right thing" is even possible, as with small-scale licensing of popular music. That's just the way it is. And when somebody comes by with something that sounds like a solution, they just latch on to it -- even when it is embarrassingly lopsided and damaging to society as a whole.
But, back to the point: don't for a minute think that it is "Hollywood vs. the World" -- there are a lot of people out there that covertly support SOPA-like laws and pray that they will cure their business ills. They are frustrated, they are bleeding and they want somebody to save them. The fact that only a handful of professional photographers spoke out in support for SOPA does not mean that there aren't many more out there quietly thinking the same. Repeat across the other industries suffering due to the myriad of changes brought on by the 'net and you have a lot of people. Individually, not Luddities but an angry, frustrated, mob nonetheless. They want change and they will eventually get it... Chances are, they won't like it, either.