Last week we saw the federal government (temporarily) abandon its pursuit of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) House anti-piracy bill and its Senate sibling, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). While this bill would have allowed lawmakers in Washington to block areas of the internet, similar to how China and North Korea currently do, it was obvious from the get-go that this sort of legislation was going to require far more research and public approval before it was implimented. And while companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft all publicly opposed the bill mainly due to the financial havoc it could possibly reak on the fragile system, at the heart of the conversation is the battle over copyright infringement by foreign entities. The push from the movie, entertainment and music industries to combat the bootlegging of it's content for profit is justified. While money is at the heart of this conversation, even those of us in advertising / marketing disciplines can sympathise with the need to safeguard your work. The ownership of intellectual capital, be it a song, or a script, or even a well thought-out marketing campaign, often represents countless hours of hard work and personal investments. To allow such artifacts to be traded and given away by third parties who had little or nothing to do with their creation is a travesty. Hopefully those in power can come up with a more targeted / level handed approach to squashing such activities without placing such broad restrictions on the public and those with legitimate e-commerce goals. One thing is for certain, our new digital way of life has only begun to challenge the way our democracy is govern on and off the grid.