I was at the PIPA/SOPA protest in front of the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand today. All fine and good, but why should the senators care?

The immediate answer is, they won’t…but bear with me.

These senators, like others, succeed because they are able to monetize their influence. This means that they expect would-be influencers — like, say, the entertainment or technology or finance industries — to put their money where their mouths are. And historically, they have.

The senators are accustomed — indeed their careers are based on — having interested parties donate in $$ amounts proportional to the legislative consideration they expect.

But what if the tech industry were able to radically reprice political influence? What if we were able to have the same influence of (say) the entertainment industry, at (say) 1/10th of the cost?

This idea frightens legacy politicians as much as the web frightens local newspapers. They are accustomed to being the only game in town, with a captive customer and a strong negotiating position. When the pricing floor drops out, the legacy business becomes much less important while the consumer receives a better product.

In other words, please don’t lobby. Disrupt.